I love night shift! I tend to be unable to sleep until about 2 or 3 am anyway, so my body clock is right for it. And night shift is such a bludge!
Here's what we do: We have Hand-over, where the afternoon boss tells us about the patients. Then the three of us go from one end to the other, checking what needs to be done at 10, which is medications and obs (blood pressures, etc) for most people. We have 23 patients if the ward is full, so it takes until about 11pm. Then we take a third of the charts each and update them for the next day. We record and clear all the IV pumps and do a couple of IV antibiotics at midnight. We read through the patients' histories to make sure we know what's going on. Then we amuse ourselves from about 1am to 5am! We have an hour break each. Through the night we have to check on the patients regularly, answer the buzzers, and chase the dementia patients back to bed :-} but it's normally quiet. The other night I spent 4 hours reading my book!
I only have 2 weeks of night shift, which is 4 nights on, 2 off and 4 on. I'm between my 2 nights off, but I stayed up reading last night because it's easier on the poor old body clock. Got up about 2pm starving, as I hadn't had anything to eat since the fried eggs at 3am.
Last night shift was frustrating, because the nurse in charge wouldn't stop whinging about things the day staff hadn't done. Obviously they'd had a very busy shift, and couldn't get doctors to see patients because the doctors were busy as well. Noone's fault. But I had to bite my tongue to stop from telling her to "SHUT UP!!!" She's the kind of person who is always "right" and everyone else is wrong.
Think I need a break from nursing. All the little things are eating away at my patience and tolerance. I'm getting grumpy and cross with people, and I hate that! The last thing I need is for all my positive attitude to be leeched out just before I have kids. Poor kids!