Hospital & Lab Safety Lab Techs

5 Signs You’re a Night Shift Lab Tech

Night shift changes a lab tech.

Gone are the days of waking with the sun, not drinking coffee at 1a, and having a normal social life. It’s all good, though, because your job is awesome, and you love your coworkers. Still, you can’t help but feel you’ve become part werewolf.

Well, you might not grow fur during full moons, but you are a rare breed. You are an important medical professional who works hours few others can handle, and your sacrifices cannot be appreciated enough.

Here are five signs you’re a night shift lab tech.

Asleep all day, awake all night on your day off:  Raise your hand (or just passively acknowledge) if you’ve tried any of these tricks: going to bed early, going to bed late, chamomile tea, no caffeine,  warm milk, cold beer.  If you’ve worked any third-shift job, there’s a good chance you’re aware of how difficult it is to recalibrate your body clock. So much for those errands you wanted to run by 5p.

Can’t remember what day it is: When your shifts cover both sides of midnight, it can be easy to “lose” entire days.  When you realize it’s actually a day later than you thought it was, consider it a gift. A day earlier … not so much, unless you’re pulling OT, which tends to take the edge off.

Sleep vs. shower vs. eat: This is one of the most difficult decisions a night shift lab tech must make. When you get home after a long night of clearing the pending list and processing umpteen million STATs, sometimes all you want in life is a hot shower. Or a soft pillow. Or a soft-shell taco. Or all of the above. Whatever you do, don’t try to fulfill all these desires at the same time.

Waking up at 3 a.m. because your body thinks it’s time for lunch: Oh, hello brain. It’s stomach. Sorry to wake you from a sound sleep, but I noticed you didn’t eat at your usual time. Did you forget about me? That’s OK, I forgive you. How about we take a trip to the refrigerator and pretend like this never happened?

Growling at people who say “Happy Friday!”:  Friday? You must be one of those adorable nine-to-fivers. Did you by chance mean Fraturday? You know … three days before my upcoming Wuesday weekend?  If you want to come over and watch a ridiculous number of Netflix originals Tunday night starting at like 2a, just say the word.

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  • Former night shift worker
    October 29, 2016 - 8:10 pm | Permalink

    The really bad part is to never see the sun or feel sunshine on your face and skin!

  • Lisa
    October 27, 2017 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    I love that you use “Wueday” and and “Fraturday”. I’ve been trying to get my coworkers to get onboard with Muesday, Te’nsday, Wurzday, Thriday, and Fraturday. Nobody is biting.

    • Aaron Ogg
      November 3, 2017 - 9:33 am | Permalink

      Hahaha. What are days, really, other than normie constructs? 😉

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