I am usually coming home from work by the time everybody else is leaving home to go to work.
I will be sitting on the half seven bus, tired and exhausted while everyone else are wide awake and prepared for their day.
I will be heading home to go to bed, ready for another night shift later on, while everyone else is heading to work, ready to start their day ahead.
I only started working night shift late November last year and let me tell you, I really did not know what was in store for me. One minute, I was doing a few training courses and then the next, my new manager was giving me my start date.
Let me tell you what I do.
I work in a residential home where people who has dementia and can’t look after themselves well come and stay. They will not always stay there forever, some may only be in there for rest by. I am a care assistant so as a night shift worker, we are simply getting them ready for bed and assisting with any personal care needed at that time. I do not deal with any medication since the CTM deals with all of that.
We are responsible for cleaning the lounges and even doing the laundry. We take out the black bags and run back in because it is SO COLD at the moment. Although we don’t actually mind since it keeps us busy – well, up until around 11:30 pm.
From there, it’s filling out paperwork and occasionally checking on the residents, making sure nobody is on the floor.
Between 1am and 3am are usually. the hours where it’s the most quiet and we may just be chatting to one another. For the quiet times, someone usually brings a book to read and that’s what I do. I catch up on my reading to keep myself awake and because I love to read, of course. Others may usually just play around on their phones, or take a quick ten minute nap.
You may be lucky at times and have a super quiet night, but that is also where you should more awake and curious. You will have walkers, those people who will walk silently and then when you glance up, they will scare the absolute life out of you. No, but seriously, the quiet nights are ones where you need to check on everybody regularly and make sure everything is fine and there are no concerns.
I still get anxiety before I start a night shift, no idea why, it’s something that just happens but I simply work through it and tell myself things will be okay. And I say that every five minutes.
Around 5 in the morning is when we usually start getting residents up. We’ll wash and dress them before either sitting them in their room or taking them out to the lounge. It really depends on what they want to do.
Overall, night shift will be hard but it’s different on each night. The residents may not be in a nice mood all the time but I live for those nights when they are in a good mood because they are so lovely to be around.
I will be making more posts about working night shifts so if there anything in which you would like to know about then please feel free to ask. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and I’ll make sure to post again real soon!