patient stories

Here’s to the Nights

This week, I had my last night shift. It was (hopefully) my last 12-hour shift of fighting my body while fighting to keep patients alive and protect their livelihood. While I disliked the timing of night shift (7pm to 7:30am), I’ll miss so much of it. I learned how what my body feels can be just a suggestion (albeit a very strong suggestion). I learned who my co-workers were, are, and who they hope to be. I learned to stay awake, how to fight all my urges to sleep (and not to sleep), and that my will is very much stronger than the inclinations of my body.

I learned so much from night shift, about myself, about life, and about everything in between. So, here’s to you, nights.

Here’s to the nights.

Here’s to the the miserable hours that united us.

Here’s to the nights of staying up late preparing for work.

Here’s to the nights of insomnia recovering from work.

Here’s to the nights spent laughing with co-workers at the nurses’ station as we fought to stay awake.

Here’s to the night where we sat down with our patients, talking about whatever was on their minds.

Here’s to the nights we fought to elevate our patients’ level of care.

Here’s to the night my patient needed emergency brain surgery.

Here’s to the night we taught our nursing assistant how to start IVs.

Here’s to the nights we had to bring patients down to the ER scanners for emergency scans.

Here’s to the nights we never saw each other because we were all too busy.

Here’s to the nights the cute little old ladies and gentlemen turned into crazy gremlins.

Here’s to the nights one of us was exposed to bodily fluids and needed to go to the ER to get checked out.

Here’s to the night the on-call resident spent his spare moments he could have used to sleep to sit outside my patients room and make sure he made it through the night.

Here’s to the nights someone had to sit with a patient and managed to stay awake in the dimmed lights.

Here’s to the nights we knew we needed to stay awake all day to see our family and friends.

Here’s to the nights of crafts: making Shutterfly books together, decorating our co-worker’s locker with blown up gloves, making a patient a party hat out of a bathroom urometer, turning urinals into vases, drawing our co-workers’ future families, and countless other crafts.

Here’s to the nights that were only redeemable by breakfast and alcoholic beverages with co-workers.

Here’s to the nights we never thought we’d make it through.

Here’s to the nights we barely made it through.

Here’s to all the nights our patients came through.

Here’s to Benadryl, melatonin, and white noise machines to help us sleep.

Here’s to coffee, energy drinks, soda, and tea to keep us awake.

Here’s to lawn mowers, people yelling, birds chirping, and everything else that interrupts our sleep.

Here’s to the night shift crew, my favorite crew around.

Here’s to the nights.

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