It’s 0420hrs, my brain is almost in a blur and I don’t know whether I’m hungry or full, just tired or next level overtired and I know that I have a list of things to get through tomorrow. Welcome to my nursing night shift. I have no idea whether I should say good morning or good night and when I eat is it breakfast or supper?? Who the hell would know because my brain particles are running on fumes and there is no gas station in sight. It’s obviously not a run off of your feet, everyone is really sick, one hundred mile an hour sort of night because I have time to write this. Tonight my friends, is a dragger, weighing my eyelids down telling me to get lost in the lull of sleep. The only thing that is stopping me is patient safety and my morals.
It’s Wednesday/Tuesday night as I’m writing and tomorrow (well actually today) I am committed to a game of rugby that kicks off at 11.30am. I will get home probably around 7.30am and fall asleep (HOPEFULLY!) at 8am. I will be running on neutral down hills to get my engine started because this referee will have only had a maximum of 2 and a half hours sleep. I could have easily said no to this appointment. I could have easily told myself that it’s not worth the grumpy ass I will become but I know in myself that it will be worth it. I know that my patience will be tested beyond what is usually possible and my mental and physical toughness will go through an army grade trail of their own to get through it successfully. This is how you become better and this is how I will get comfortable being uncomfortable and under pressure. My shift work can have the potential to really mess with my head and my ability to function well but at a point in time where I need to function while being messed with nursing becomes the perfect ally.
Going into this game I need to be prepared to trust my instincts, to be able to make decisions using the knowledge I have in my tool belt and let my rugby brain take the reins. Any indecision has the potential to send my brain off of the rails and into the unknown black hole of overtiredness. This game should be just like riding a bike after years of not riding a bike at all. I know the law, I believe in my ability to position myself on the field to correctly rule the law and I think that the night shift itself will allow me to breathe a little slower and let the game flow better with more advantage as if I make more decisions I am more at risk of derailing my brain. This is my tactic, it may not be the best one or the most effective but I believe that I have a plan going into this game so that I don’t ruin it for the players wanting the best out of it.
I am a nurse, I am a referee and I am ready to blend the both of my world’s by using each one’s strength’s and weaknesses to better the other. Just like refereeing, night shift isn’t always the devil it is made out to be. Yeah, your body clock may be out of whack on a night shift or you may get verbally abused once in a while as a referee but they have both allowed me to grow as a person and better myself. Nursing has allowed me to experience functioning under pressure and my refereeing has needed that so that when the pressure is on I am no stranger to it. After all, in this life we are all only using the resources we have at our disposal to accomplish our goals and be the best versions of ourselves that we can muster.