January 26, 2008

Canadian Psycho


Shift work is an employment practice designed to make use of the 24 hours of the clock, rather than a standard working day. The term shift work includes both long-term night shifts and work schedules in which employees change or rotate shifts.

Shift work shortens your life span. It increases your likelihood of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, depression, heart disease, family problems, on the job injuries, etc.

So why do it? Mostly cuz I have to. I don't work in the kind of environment that is able to just take care of itself when the normal world is sleeping. I have to do it, at least as long as I carry on as a Youth Care Worker, but I am quite aware of the adverse effects of this lifestyle. It makes you real messed up, man.

The worst shift turnover is when I work a night shift (say Thursday 11pm-7am) and then have to try and wake myself up Friday so I can get to bed at a reasonable hour because I work all day Saturday. It's not pretty. Last night I slept 2am-5:30am, worked all day today. Now I'll go home and stay up as late as I can because I'm working Sunday 7pm until Monday 7am... It's confusing...

Anyway, the point of this story is I'm tired. I didn't mind working only 7p shifts (night shifts, in youth care speak), because the switching back and forth really does me in. Then again I wouldn't wish four night shifts in a row on anyone.

I'm tough though... right?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

.... I to am a slave to the shift work world. I also dispise the one day turn around. The thing I have found that works the best for me is not forcing myself when it comes to sleeping. I find sleeping when I am tired ( sometimes means a nap on the couch when I didn't mean too!), eating when I am hungry and knowing when I need to not be around a crowd is important. We all need a little structure or we would end up sleeping all day etc, but If I work a full nightshift 7p-7a then I am not meant to work the next night. I let myself sleep until between 1230 and 3 depending on when I wake up. Then I make myself get out of the house. Go for a walk, do laundry, get groceries, something mindless but not staring at the tv/computer. It's really hard sometimes. REALLY HARD. Shift work is not nice to us. But knowing your body and how it works helps. Have you figured out a good eating routine? That's the part that took me forever!
Nicole

Evelyn said...

I'm afraid I haven't spent too much time working on a good routine... I feel like I'll finally get things going, and it all changes again. My schedule can change on a daily basis which isn't fun...

I think I need to start regulating the sleep thing a little better, I tend to oversleep and end up being groggy...

let me know if you find the key! :)