Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Night Nurse

As a youngster I believed that I could do just about anything I put my mind to. Receiving that call at 3 AM advising me  there was a "good" (Dr. Slambaugh's vernacular) trauma waiting for  me in the OR was no problem. It was a struggle to bring my  consciousness to a full boil and the rhythmic, repetitive  nature of scrubbing did not help in waking me up, but once surgery was in progress, the noise of the world went away and I was in one of my all-time favorite places. It did not seem to matter that it was the middle of the night and I was expected to be functional the next day.

Some time after I retired, the damage of fooling around with my sleep cycle became obvious. After months of sleeping at night and being awake all day, I began feeling really good. The deleterious action of night work  was revealed to me as that headachey, run down feeling left for good.

The bottom line here is I am really surprised, puzzled, and humbled by the number of people reading this foolish blog of mine at 3AM in the morning. I don't check page views that often and if one person takes the trouble of reading my foolhardy tales per day that is sufficient for me. Last night about 80 people indulged in my foolishness between 3 and 4AM. I thought time zone changes might offer an explanation, but these viewers were in this country.

I sometimes worry about you. Am I contributing to messing with your Circadian rhythm? Am I disrupting your important work? Are you going to get caught up on your sleep come the next day?

You night viewers must be a very special group: not that many nurse office sitters, utilization reversers reviewers, or nurse  infomaniac  informatics are awake at this hour. If you are working in a clinical area I have experienced some of your nocturnal pains. I don't think I would have had the stomach for foolishness at 3AM even as a much younger fool. In my mind you are a very special group of people.

If you are reading my foolhardy ramblings in the middle of the night please leave a comment that you are OK and I'm not contributing to that nighttime malaise we all know too well. Thanks for reading my foolishness.


  1. I'm not one of those people, these days- but if you'd been writing/I'd been reading your blog about a year earlier, I might have been reading you at 3am while breastfeeding... (Another thing that messes with your circadian rhythms). Maybe you're entertaining mothers of tiny new people.

  2. Maya, thanks for your nice comment. I hope my foolishness can bring the tiny new people contentment having amused/ entertained the mothers.

  3. your article is wonderful and amazed. I need to return more if I can.

  4. I'm one of your middle-of-the-night readers. That's because I work the weekend night shift in the lab at the hospital. So I'm enjoying your foolishness as a break from the foolishness of others.

  5. I have personally inflicted foolishness upon hospital lab workers. One night when stressed and sleep deprived, I dutifully obtained STAT bloodwork from a critical patient and promptly scribbled MY own name on the Vacutainers instead of the patient's name. The confused lab tech called up and I had to explain my foolishness. Luckily, he was very understanding.

    1. Whenever any of my nurses make a mistake like that, I laugh and thank them for making a mistake on purpose just to make me laugh. Always lightens the moment... Keep the stories coming!
      -Anonymous from above

  6. I like your blog a lot. Its informative and full of information. Thank you for sharing.