Working the night shift has its benefits. If you can learn to manage your internal clock and get the sleep you need during the day, you can make the most of working nights. Here are five perks you may want to consider the next time you feel like trading those shifts away.
- Higher Pay – Let us start with the most obvious reason: More money. It may not be a lot, but the shift differential, or extra pay, you earn working nights is great when you combine it with the other benefits. Plus, that additional income adds up over time. The shift differential will vary depending on where you work and whether you belong to a union or not.
- Quieter Work Environment – Another perk of working the night shift is how much calmer things tend to be on the ward. Yes, as a nurse you know that can change quickly. However, whether you work in a busy ER or in an assisted living facility, the pace can slow down at night for a number of reasons.
Your unit is likely to be quieter at nighttime, with visitors, family members, and some hospital staff gone for the day. Most administrative staff including managers, support staff, cleaning/janitorial staff, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and students don’t work nights. Fewer people to work around and communicate with means less hustle and bustle in your ward.
- Fewer Interruptions – You are able to collect your thoughts and organize your work, which can mean better focus. You’re likely to have more time to attend to your patients and meet their needs, complete your nursing care in an unhurried way, and consider which patients may need more assessment and follow-up on your shift. Another benefit of a calmer work environment is lower stress resulting in less nurse burnout.
- More Personal Time – Another perk to working the night shift is that you’ll have more daylight hours for your personal life. After you clock out, you have the remainder of your day to spend time with your family, run errands, attend appointments and help aging parents. Not having to request time off from work to attend to these matters is a benefit of working nights. You may be able to save on childcare too.
- Better Teamwork – Smaller teams of staff work the night shift while visitors and family go home, allowing for better bonding with one’s co-workers. These factors often contribute to a more cohesive nursing team and improved job satisfaction.
Working through the wee hours can be slow and tough sometimes, but these perks can help offset the difficulties.
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