Day shift Expectation vs Reality

Nurses working dayshift expectations vs reality

As a nurse, depending on your shift, your workflow and experience as a nurse is going to differ. We have worked both shifts, mainly 4 years on nights but today we are going to share our experience to share the expectations vs reality of working day shift as a nurse

Your nursing shifts start at 5 am

As a dayshift nurse, you have to get up as early as 5 am to eat, pack your lunch, and beat the morning traffic. This is the part that most nurses dread. The Day shifts typically range from about 6:45 in the morning until a little around 7:30 at night.

Are you someone who constantly stays up late? Or are you the type of person who prefers a regular bedtime and enjoying the sunrise? If the answer is no, then you might have a hard time dealing with early nursing shifts.

Getting your butt up at 5 am to get ready for work definitely isn’t fun. But you’ll get used to it. After all, that’s why coffee was invented (for dayshift nurses).

The best benefit to working the day shift is having a consistent schedule that your body loves. Working the day shift also gives you the benefit of lining up with the rest of the world’s schedules.

Dayshift is hands-on

If you’re looking for opportunities to practice your hands-on skills, the day shift is ideal as it has more procedures. If you love starting IVs, ambulating, assisting in procedures, you will enjoy working days, as nights typically see procedures during emergencies.

The noisiness on dayshift

During dayshift the noisiness is consistent. There are patients, alarms, phones, family, call lights, food trays, consults, nursing rounds, procedures, tests, etc.

The dayshift nursing environment is constantly noisy, so if you love organized chaos and are constantly connected to your work environment, dayshift is for you.

Nursing support on dayshift

Dayshift nursing is really busy but with days this means there are more people to pick up all the extra work. There are always patients to take care of with constant order changes throughout the day, consults to follow-up with to figure out the plan of care, etc. You will never feel alone as a dayshift nurse because you will constantly have nursing support such as nursing leadership (charge nurse), nursing staff, and coworkers.

The plan of care

As a dayshift nurse, you’re the primary team member when It comes to total care.

As the primary nurse, you are not only responsible for the direct care of a patient, but also taking part in providing indirect nursing care for other patients as well. During the day the entire hospital team is there; Doctors, residents, consults, Physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, dietary, social worker, case management &, etc.

If you adapt easily to quick changes in plans and are flexible to other people needing access to your patient, the day shift might be for you. If you don’t enjoy this type of commotion, stick to the night shift; it’s much more controllable in this area.

Charting during dayshift

Charting nursing care during dayshift can be a challenge as well. With the constant stream of nursing activity and interruptions, charting nursing care can become tricky. Day shifters chart at random times throughout the day, but have more patient face-to-face contact and charting

Dayshift nursing is fast-paced. You will get used to charts quickly on your dayshift. If you love reading up on your patients and do some digging to perform better care, consider working nights.

PO supplementation on day shift for nurses

Are you someone who cannot go without food or drinking? With the entire team being at the hospital, this includes management, which never allows any food or drinks at the nurse’s station.

During nights, the opportunities to sit down and eat more often and you can enjoy your meal. Most hospitals don’t have a 24/7 cafeteria, which can be tough for those without outside meal plans.

Friendships on days

Both day and night present an opportunity to engage with and get to know your coworkers. Nightshift is a lot easier going and to get along with.

Night nurses are typically quiet and reserved; day shift nurses have the opposite demeanor: they are talkative and engaging in conversation. Both dayshift nurse and night shift nursing have their own unique perks

Concluding thoughts

If you’re looking to get ahead in your nursing career, it’s important that you have a good understanding of the nursing shifts and responsibilities. Both nursing shifts offer different nursing opportunities and nursing challenges.

Working dayshift nursing can be very taxing on your schedule if you have a family or children to take care of. It is constantly noisy, fast-paced, and not the most relaxing nursing shift at all. If you are really dedicated to your nursing career, both shifts will be equally challenging.


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