Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"But you only work three days a week"

I hear this rather frequently.

And for the record I work three NIGHTS a week.

And I get it. How awesome would it be to only have to work three times a week right? Well, for the most part you're right. I would rather go in and work 3 12 hour shifts then have to be there all week.

But lets look at a stretch of weeks that I've done more than once. The dreaded three on two off. Did you hear that? The nurses in the room just groaned, namely the night shift ones.

Now let me just say that before I start a three day stretch I like to clean the house and make sure all the laundry is done, because it's NOT getting done on the days that I work.

I started Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Sunday morning I got off work, went home and slept two hours and went to church. My parents bring Avery to church so I brought her home, fed her lunch, and attempted to get her down for a nap. I lay down for a couple more hours while she's sleeping. (If my last day isn't a Sunday I go get her from my parents when I get off or after I've slept a couple hours.) When we wake up I find small things for us to do in the afternoon. I'm still exhausted but don't dare drink any caffeine if I want to sleep that night. Sunday night I go to bed AS SOON as Avery is asleep and sleep until she wakes up Monday morning. Monday I have to do more laundry, pick up the house, run any errands that need done because the next day I'm right back at it for three more. Tuesday I try to take a nap with Avery and in the afternoon we play and I try to cook at least one big meal I can take for left overs to work. Then I work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I get off Friday morning and WOOOHOOO it's the weekend, right? Well, technically yes, but I'm so flipping tired that I do nothing more than go to bed at 8:30 that night. Saturday is another day of errands because I'm back to work Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

Let's review: Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Then Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. If my math is correct that is a minimum of 108 hours in 9 days. Anyone that works on my floor can tell you that you would be LUCKY to clock out at 0730, or 1930 for that matter. I can count on one hand the times I clocked out BEFORE 0800. In a 13 day span I put in 9 days, 108 hours. That's not that much? I'm being a baby?

Ok, ok I get it. I HAVE a job. And I'm eternally grateful to be able to provide a roof over my child's head and put food in her belly. I only wish I would be able to SEE her a little more often.

Thankfully this doesn't happen all the time, I would fall over. But it happens at least once every 6 weeks or so. Just often enough to make me want to cry.

Then benefit? The occasional 6,7,or even 8 days off in a row!! It seems we are all just working towards that big break. We hear it all the time. "Three more nights and I get 5 off". Or "After next week I have 6 off". It's sad that we wish our time away so quickly.

But in the mean time we just keep plugging away.


Sara B said...

Anyone who thinks nurses (particularly pediatric nurses) have it easy must be lucky enough not to spend much time in the hospital. I don't know how you all do it, especially with 12 hour shifts! I can go to my comfy desk job and be crabby and avoid people all day if I need to, eat when I want, pee when I want, put my feet up when I want. You all have such a difficult job and most of the nurses my son or I have had have been completely amazing people and managed to be kind and pleasant even when I'm certain they have their own issues and complaints. In fact, one of my closest friends is the nurse who helped to save mine and my son's lives the night he was born (I had HELLP Syndrome and we were both in life-threatening danger). Nurses are awesome!!

Moo's Mamma said...

I hear ya : )Being a shiftworker is Brutal... with a capital B! I know it... I live it... 2 days... 12.75 hours... followed by 2 graveyards... another 12.75 hours...I am lucky enough to have 5 days off after that... but my body struggles the first day... having gotten off at 7 am... without a wink of sleep.... it takes a few days to recover... and some days you feel like a yoyo... anyone who has envied my schedule... has never worked the nightshift : )