What Does a Night Nurse Do?

Caring for a newborn baby can be pretty overwhelming for a new mother. It is often exhausting and very stressful. Newborn babies need 24-hour attention which is very demanding for a mother especially right after giving birth. Mothers need to get as much rest as possible so that they can recover from the exhaustion of giving birth.

Hiring a night nurse is the best way to ensure a mother gets some peaceful sleep at night without to worry about the baby. The night nurses, as the name suggests, will provide overnight care for the baby. This consists of feeding, swaddling and soothing, diaper change among many other tasks. Most of them will arrive early in the night and leave late in the morning when everything is already set up for the mother. They are certified new born care specialists who will also advise a mother on some parenting techniques. Here is a list of their main duties and the differences between newborn and night nurses.

1. Keep the baby company

Babies do not know how to differentiate between day and night. Sometimes they can spend the whole day sleeping and be active for the night. They cannot be ignored during such times.They need someone to watch over them as they play or even when they just lay there wide awake. They can cut themselves, fall or even choke. A keen eye needs to be put on them. A night nurse will ensure that the baby is safe throughout the night. She can play with the baby, read or just swaddle as the night goes by.

2. Feeding

Babies require regular feeding. You just never know when they are going to get hungry and start crying. A night nurse will feed the baby during the night. She will come early and prepare the food. If the baby is still young, she will ensure that the bottles are well sterilized and the milk is ready and standby for the night. She will always remind the mother to pump the milk in time so that she can have ample time to rest.

3. Changing diapers

This is another important role of the night nurse. A baby should not stay in a soiled diaper for more than an hour. They have delicate skin and may be burned with the poop and pee. The night nurse will promptly change the baby’s diaper whenever it needs a new one.

4. Give medications

Babies are very susceptible to diseases and infections. Some of them are born with certain conditions that need regular medication. Proper measures should be taken to ensure the baby is well protected. A night nurse will ensure the baby has its medicine at the prescribed time. They have been trained on how to give medicine and this will not trouble them at all.

The duties of a night nurse are very valuable. Any mother who doesn’t have extra family assistance would greatly benefit from the services of a night nurse. They will help a mother bring up the baby in the most healthy way. The duties discussed above are just general, night nurses can always adjust if extra care and attention is needed.

Preparing for a Nursing Shift

Preparing for a Nursing Shift

When you’re a nurse you know the long hours that are involved, and you know you may end up staying beyond your shift for a couple of reasons.  If you’re new to the profession it is a good idea to plan ahead for your shift.  Preparing for a nursing shift can help you combat the fatigue that comes with working long hours on your feet all day.  Here are some tips that can help.

Make Sure You Eat and Prepare Some Snacks

Always eat a meal before you head to the hospital, this will help you make it through your long shift.  Take note of how long your shift will be and when your break times are, this will allow you to plan ahead and bring enough snacks.  Being hungry can make you tired and dizzy so pack some protein snacks like nuts, they can help you sustain your energy throughout your shift. This will also help you stay away from vending machines and sugary snacks.  Here are some tips to help.

If for some reason you can’t bring snacks with you or you end up working longer than you have planned, try visiting the cafeteria.  Most hospital cafeterias have gotten better over the years with the food that they sell, it not only tastes much better but there are healthier options there as well.  It might be easier to grab food before your shift, you never know when you will have time to eat.

Naps Can be Your Friend

People who work long hours and night shifts like nurses do end up lacking in sleep.  Your body clock can be completely messed up and this can affect your judgement.  Try learning how to take power naps.  If you can sleep soundly for a few minutes you can help keep your energy up.  You can try power napping during your lunch break if you can find somewhere quiet.  You can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to finish the last half of your shift.

Plan Ahead

As a nurse you not only work long hours but your shifts can often change.  You can easily go from working days to nights to afternoons, all in the course of a week.  You need to plan ahead as to not just when you sleep but to make sure that you aren’t too tired to function through your shift.  Keep track of your hours and when breaks will happen.  It will help you fight fatigue and keep your shifts productive.

What You Don't Learn in Nursing School

What You Don’t Learn in Nursing School

Your education doesn’t stop once you finally get your nursing degree, in fact once you enter the workforce you will find that your learning has just begun.  The hospital and if you work the emergency room are all high pressure environments.  Nursing school will give you the practical knowledge that you need to pass the NCLEX and get your license.  You will spend the rest of your career getting on the job training.  Here is what you don’t learn in nursing school.

Clinical Training

As part of your education you probably went through a couple of months working in the hospital, this is meant to give you an idea of what to expect when you graduate.  This sounds nice in theory but as a student nurse you only have a couple of patients and you only work for a couple of hours at a time.  You have support on hand in case you are in over your head, but that gives you very little experience in all the things that can happen during a nursing shift, with many of them being life and death.

Hands on Training

Clinical training is valuable, make no mistake, but it doesn’t teach you everything and we are not talking about the unusual things that happen in an ER.  You may not have covered admissions or discharges during the clinical training.  There is a ton of paperwork that accompanies admitting or discharging someone into the hospital you may not be familiar with.  The other thing you probably didn’t cover in much depth is the ordering of medications, in particular narcotics.  There is a process to ordering narcotics that you wouldn’t have been allowed to do as a student.

Managing Your Time

The two most valuable skills that any nurse needs is organization and time management, neither of which are taught in school.  Your clinical training is very regimented and for a short time so you really don’t get the opportunity to learn this skill.  Nurses multitask more than any other profession, they have to prioritize and organize what needs to be done continually throughout their shifts.  Experienced nurses do hundreds of different tasks during one shift, if you don’t have this skill you will become a burden to the other staff you work with.

Nursing is an incredibly rewarding career, but school won’t prepare you for everything you will face on the nursing floor.  It won’t prepare you for the first time that a patient passes away nor will it prepare you for the emergencies that will happen during your tenure.