Typical nigh shift: nurses had 3:1 patient ratio. Cared for critically ill patients requiring mechanical ventilation, administration of medications that had to be titrated to keep patients vital signs within normal range.
I learned how to be self-sufficient and multi-task, performing the role of nurse, unit secretary, orderly, etc. Enhanced my critical thinking skills while caring for critically ill patients with limited support staff.
Management had limited presence during night shift. Most of the information that needed to be communicated to people working at night was relayed by peers who worked during the day.
The hardest part of this job was that you were responsible for 6 critically ill patients and only had one other nurse with you to provide care for the patients. If there was an emergency, the other nurse had to make phone calls for help before he/she was able to come to the bedside to assist with patient care. That was the priority because if no one called for help, the emergency would have to be handled by the two nurses on duty, as there was no other way to summons help during an emergency.
The most enjoyable part of the job was having the opportunity to provide care for patients. The other employees in the ICU were team players and they made the work environment pleasant. Coworkers were approachable and eager to help one another which improved the quality of patient care in the department.
Employees with positive attitudes, Complex patients requiring care encouraging critical thinking and creative problem solving
Minimal communication between managment and night shift employees, limited support staff at night, poor job security as facility changed ownership 2 times in the 15 months I was employed there.