As a nurse, you've got to work shifts, and as I am full time nurse in intensive care unit, I have to have a fair share of days and night hours.
Working nights is not that bad, if you are used to it. Aside from feeling like a zombie, you work like without brains. Everything is autopilot. Due to years of experience, working with the multidisciplinary team comes as second nature to me.
But lately, I have to think deep and hard about my practice. I have been audited by the CRNBC (College of Registered Nurses in British Columbia) before I was able to renew my license, and in there I have to satisfy the requirements of updating my professional practice and development, and pair it with their practice standards. It wasn't a hard audit, but really, in reality, we do more than the practice is asking, and we sacrifice a lot, our health, our brains, time, and effort, and even our personal beliefs and relationships. Nursing is not like any other jobs monday to friday 9 to 5 pm where you have a set of days off and time automatically without having so much of a fuss with your planner. Nursing is indeed complex, not only to the practice but to the one that practices it. Guess what, I love it, but if I have a choice, I prefer becoming a part time only, the other part time would be farming. Would it not be great?
When I finally made the decision to become a nurse (wish I had other choices) I am aware that night shifts are there to come. That was in 1992, I qualified in 1996, and I was only 20 years old then. I pledged to myself that I would be good and break my time in five years intervals. I have rounded around specialty wards such as maternity, neurology, respiratory, medical, and surgical by 25. Then I got my specialty in intensive care by 30, teaching/mentoring at now when I am 35, aiming to become an educator by forty, and hopefully a consultant at 45. Currently, I am at my goal, and perhaps I could easily switch to some kind of managerial jobs of sort, but I am not that kind of person. I am passionate about my bedside care and the patients that I treat therefore I knew that being in skills and practice level is what will give me job satisfaction. Another thing I have learned in this work life is that, establishing a network is necessary to let your goals achievable. Talking to your manager from the very start and outline to him/her your career goals is a very clear indication that he/she could not hold you should you want to leave or move when the time comes when you feel like it's time. Personally, I am a very loyal employee and love to become part of the group at most times. But a few occasion I have broken from my comfort zones to try new levels and tastes, and so far, I have not once a regret yet, any kind of major career decisions I have made. Hopefully, I am trained and continue to be trained in each obstacle I have yet to face.