Many nurses and emergency physicians are fond of night work, despite the difficulty of this way of life. Quick look at the reasons why they choose night work.
Naija Lynn is a night nurse at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital. She would not trade her night shifts for anything, which allow her to work more independently and pocket a tidier sum than her fellow day workers get.
Quebec’s health system rewards people quite well who are willing to upend their living cycle. “It makes a big difference to pay,” Naija Lynn confirms. “The pay varies depending on the context, but in my case it’s close to $5 more per hour.” Night nurses receive an allowance of up to 16% of their regular salary.
Another way of working
Night shifts, with reduced size, have the freest field. There are fewer interns to support, fewer resident doctors buzzing around the nurse – the work goes on unhindered. “I find night work less stressful,” says Naija Lynn. “With the emergency room being less crowded, we find other ways to work. Besides, for a nurse night work means greater independence, better use of her free will in making decisions. There’s nothing I don’t like.”
Escaping the traffic
For a nurse who lives several kilometres from her workplace, night hours are a blessing. Escaping bottlenecked bridges and daytime road congestion, Naija Lynn only takes 20 minutes to get to work. During the day, she would certainly take an hour to get there.
“I know it’s not so easy for those with young children,” says Naija Lynn, “but for non-parents like me, the night schedule can be incorporated into your life without too much pain. It’s difficult at first, but you get used to splitting your sleep to be able to enjoy a bit of sunshine between two naps.”
The most difficult, for these employees of the medical sector who also have to regularly chain 16-hour work shifts, is maintaining an active social life. But there’s nothing that’s impossible, with a good sense of organization and friends… who understand!