I haven't had the slightest inkling that I'd find myself working in healthcare. I defied my aunt's wishes for me to take up nursing after I finished high school because I knew I won't be up for it. The sight of blood and that distinct smell of hospitals makes me sick. Besides, I don't have people skills. Little did I know, that I'd end up working in these places ( sort of ) and with nurses.
When I came to Canada, I started working as a live-in caregiver. At first, I was lost and didn't know about what it is to be a caregiver. I didn't know what it is to care for another person. Fortunately, the people I worked for were very kind and generous to me. They made it easier for me to do my work. I had the privilege to look after three wonderful, elderly women who were very kind and good to me. In return for my service, aside from getting paid, they taught me things that I would never have learn or knew about if I hadn't work for them. Their families were so welcoming and generous to me too.
I remembered a few years back, I wrote something about my feelings and thoughts on being a live-in caregiver. About my fears and reservations of caring for someone vulnerable and dependent on me. And it helped me, in some ways, to cope. And now that I work as a care aide, I have reservations and conflicting feelings too. And more so because now, I must deal with a lot of people.
Pretty much sums up why I prefer night shift. 😃
In my current line of work, we go by different names, RCA or resident care aide; healthcare assistant or HCA or simply, care aide. When someone ask me what I do, I simply said that I work in a facility, which is kind of broad or confusing, perhaps. But where I work at, the term denotes a place where elderly people ( and some not that old ) live. Their last stop before they kick the bucket, so to speak. I did try to work in a hospital but too much noise and trying to get along with a lot of people is exhausting.
I have work in different shifts--- days, evenings and nights. Surprisingly, I find that working night shifts suited me well. I say surprisingly because I am a morning person. I used to be a stickler for going to bed early and up early the next morning. But since I decided that I prefer working nights, my sleep routine changes. There are days that I'm in bed for the most part of the day, trying to sleep, because it's either I just got off work the previous night or I have to work later at night. And its a bit difficult to sleep during the day when its all sunny out there. I've read about the downsides of working nights and sleep deprivation, health wise. I feel it, especially after I work six nights straight. Sleep deprivation and some say, the lack of a social life are the reasons that most people don't like to work nights. I don't have a social life so this is not a big deal for me.
While some people cringed and abhor the thought of doing a night shift or actually doing one, I welcome it, of course, with a good dose of qualms and reservations. Who love to go out and drive at night, just to go to work? I'm pretty sure, no one does, at least not by choice. I don't like to drive at night especially on a Friday night but I do it anyway. So, why do it? That's a good question. The thing is I don't like doing a night shift per se, but I prefer it compared to doing a day or evening shift. My sister always joked about why I prefer it, because according to her I'm afraid of people. I'm not afraid of them, I just don't want to be around them for a long period of time. And 8 hours is a long time. There's too much that goes on during the day and lots of people to work with. A lot of "people drama" happens and its something I don't want to get into. All I want is to work within that 8-hour window, as expected of me and after that, I go home.
I get questions like, "So, you like working night shifts?" or "You only work nights?" to which I always reply with a slight nod and a shrug. With night shift, I only have to deal with a few people, primarily my partner and the charge nurse. And of course, the residents, whom ideally should be sleeping. But on some nights and for a lot of different reasons, they don't sleep. Some would want to get up, thinking its already morning. And if something major happens, there's only a few staff to deal with it, so you see, night shift people don't have it easy.
I'm not going to lie and say I'm crazy about my job. But I'm thankful for it. And the only way I can show this is to work in the the best way possible. Hence, I prefer nights. 😃