Is A Graveyard Shift Your Cup Of Tea?January 27, 2014
A graveyard shift at a hospital is the toughest slot for any employer to fill and very often, the only way to fill the vacancies is by offering tempting salaries and irresistible perks. While it may all sound exciting on the face of it, there are a few things you should consider if you are contemplating taking up a job that involves working the night shift:
The money factor
Night-time jobs generally come with a sizeable shift differential. This means you will get a significant amount of extra money in your paycheck each month. If you have unpaid bills or have been on unemployment compensation for a long time, the extra money can seem enticing but it is vital that you consider other factors as well. Working the graveyard shift can turn your entire life upside down and it also wreaks havoc on your body clock as well as your social life. Depending on how desperately you need the money, it pays to remember that there are things apart from money that keep you going in life. Spending time with family and friends and looking after your own health are important too.
The autonomy factor
The late night shifts always have bare minimum staffing and when the situation demands it, the staff who are on duty are often required to make some critical decisions all on their own. How comfortable would you be in situations such as these? This can be a huge deciding factor when you are considering accepting any job offer.
Disruption in family life
A graveyard shift is not all that difficult if you are single or have children who are older and can look after themselves. However, if you have very young children, caring for them during the day means you will not be able to catch up on your sleep, which can make your night-job even more difficult. Another issue that could come up is when you have a spouse who works the exact opposite hours. That too can lead to a disruption in your family life.
The sleep factor
Typically, humans are not wired to sleep during the day. We are not nocturnal creatures. Sleeping at odd hours of the day can affect your sleep cycle. Regardless of how many heavy curtains you hang on windows, the new sleep pattern will take some getting used to. Certain people are able to survive on very little sleep and can feel refreshed even if they grab a wink or two over the course of the day. On the contrary, if you are the kind who cannot survive on this kind of sleep pattern, this might not be the apt job choice.
Make a smart, informed decision
Before you actually decide upon this job and shifts that can turn your life and schedules upside down, ask yourself whether you have actually scoured all the other possibilities. Sure, working at a large teaching hospital would be a great experience but not if it comes at great personal cost. For a start it may be a better idea to look for positions at long-term care facilities or local community hospitals or even large physician practices. These will offer you jobs that involve decent work hours during the day and a decent pay package too. It’s a decent trade-off if you consider it will help you stay happy and healthy and you do not have to compromise on your family life too.