Last night, I worked my first twelve-hour night shift. From now on, my full-time schedule will consist of three twelve-hour shifts a week, including one weekend per month. Working from 6:30PM until 7AM really isn't as bad as it sounds. The night moves along pretty quickly and there's usually always something to do. The hospital is much more peaceful at night; there are no visiting hours and doctors don't do rounds until the morning. There's more charting to do, since the night nurses are responsible for getting the next day's flow sheets all set, but there's a fair amount of time after 1 am where you can sit down and chart while most of your patients are asleep. I ended up getting home around 7:15 AM, and was able to sleep comfortably until 3 pm with a bandana around my eyes. I need to buy a dark curtain for my bedroom, and earplugs.
Today, I finished Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill. I would highly recommend this novel. It's the story of Baby, a twelve-year old daughter of a heroin addict widower. The novel is written in first-person through Baby's eyes, and provides an insightful account of what it is like to be a poverty-stricken child exposed to sex and drugs well before her time. What struck me the most about O'Neill's writing is the way in which she was able to speak with such child-like innocence about subjects that no child should be exposed to. Beautiful.