Graveyard Shift at the Psych Hospital

September 28, 2012

The title of this post sounds like it could be a scary movie. And let me tell you - sometimes it is pretty scary.

Tonight at work someone told me that my glasses make me look more like a therapist and that I should never take them off. I never knew fake glasses would count as part of my credentials. At least the patient didn't know that I had lasik eye surgery and that my glasses are just an accessory. This little unknown fact could have sent the patient spiraling downhill. Seriously.

 A few people have been asking me about my blog and they like that I have been blogging more. They also ask why my blog posts are at 3:00a.m. The reason I am blogging more is because I work graveyard shift at the psych hospital. does sound a little scary, but I must admit that I LOVE it! My hours are from 11:30p.m. to 7:00 am. (We use military time 2330-0700). My husband made me a little bat cave in our room with curtains so it's pitch black and I have no idea what time of the day it is. I can't remember the last time I saw the sun, but at least I stay out of this Arizona heat. Thanks dad for my semi-dark skin. I sometimes have down time where I can blog and study for my LMSW exam when I finish all my other work.

I absolutely love my job. I am the first person to meet the patient and I get to decide if the patient meets hospital criteria. Some questions I ask...
Are you suicidal?
Do you have a plan to commit suicide?
Are you having auditory and/or visual hallucinations?
Are you feeling homicidal?
Who do you want to hurt/kill and how would you do it?
Substance abuse in the past 30 days?
Support system?
Living situation?
School? Work?
Sleep disturbance?
Family history of mental illness/suicide/substance abuse?

These questions are asked in more of a conversational way, but I need to know the answers to all of the above. It's a new adventure with every patient I see. I never get bored and I always have exciting/scary stories. I then get to diagnose the patient and admit them to the hospital. Diagnosing can be difficult at times when I only meet with them for 30 minutes to an hour, but I like the challenge.

Everyone always freaks out with they hear I work graveyard shifts. Here are the pros and cons:
No traffic to or from work
Better pay
Less work drama-fewer office politics-quieter environment/less people
Better stories/more interesting people
Down time for studying/blogging/ebaying
I get to wear cute scrubs (see pic above)
I sleep during prime AZ heat time
Running errands first thing in the morning is awesome..banks and grocery stores are empty:)
I'm wide awake when Hunter gets home from school!
I never have to wake up to an alarm clock to go to work-this one is enough for me

Weekend sleep patterns are just plain weird
Not sleeping in bed with husband
I never know when I'm hungry anymore
Abnormal body rhythms
Lack of sunlight exposure (besides weekends)

In my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons in my life right now. We will see how long I can hack it!


  1. Mack just finished his psych rotation at Aurora! Too funny! Sounds like you are doing great. Love ya!

  2. your life is a little too exciting for my taste. But I am glad that you do it because it sounds like an important job. Way to do something important!


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