[IP] RE:Night Shift
Why my schedule changes so frequently??? Because I am the Night shift
Weighmaster at the chicken processing plant... If the plant gets scheduled
to run, one of us has to be here to weigh the loads of birds coming in, spot
the loads for unloading, unbind full loads & bind empty loads so drivers can
take trailers for next load.
The plant has a grand total of THREE weighmasters, each working about 9 hour
shift each day. I work 6 PM - anywhere from 3 - 4:30 AM Sunday - Thursday
nights... The next weighmaster works about 2 - 11 or noon. The third one
works 10 AM - between 5 & 7 PM.
The one who comes in to relieve me works as the ONLY one to monitor the
plant Hatcheries incubators and other equipment on Friday night;: which is
my normal first night off. So if the plant ends up working Friday night,
the one weighmaster is busy working at the hatchery, and is therefore
unavailable to weigh the loads of birds... The other weighmaster has already
worked a full 9 - 10 hour shift by the time the night shift catch crew
starts, so because of shift length limits, he is also NOT ALLOWED to work
that night... Leaving ME as the ONLY qualified, and both State AND Company
certified Weighmaster the plant is able to call on to weigh the loads of
birds on what is supposed to be my night off.
The work schedule and farms scheduled to be caught sometimes get scheduled
with the schedule remaining unchanged for the full week... But MOST of the
time, the catch schedule attached to my paycheck so I know where next week's
birds are coming from will be either the original schedule, or revision
#1... MANY TIMES, by Wednesday night, we will be working with schedule
revision #4 - 6 for that same week, and often, the plant will have Night
shift scheduled OFF for Friday night and Day shift OFF Saturday up until the
revised schedule comes out some time after midnight Wednesday night, or
Thursday morning... Then I will go in to work Thursday night, planning on
being OFF the next night so I can catch up on swimming pool work I normally
do on my days off, only to find out that I need to re-schedule the pool work
schedule I had planned on doing on the mornings of my nights off because
instead of being able to catch up on sleep the coming night, I end up
instead having to work that night also.
With my work schedule... The ONLY night I can count on to NOT have to work
is Saturday night. And I haven't found anybody in any medical profession
that would be willing to provide any pump training over a Day Shift worker's
"weekend" (Saturday or Sunday).
May have been just "MY LUCK of timing" and the Animas pump trainer from
Prattville may have just been driving through an area with either poor or NO
Cell-phone coverage at the time... But I've tried calling Beth a couple
times the last TWO Saturday s, and received either NO response at all (not
even a phone ringing from the other end), or just the cell phone server's
message telling me that the customer I tried calling could not be located,
and asking me to try calling back again later. By the wording of the "could
not be located" message, I am assuming it meant either Beth's cell phone was
turned off or she was in a "dead" service area, because I'll get that same
message if I try contacting my bosses on their cell phone and they are at
one of the plant's farms where we know cell phone service is poor to
I've contacted Beth via Email a few times, gave her the info I have been
able to calculate based on the formulas provided in John Walsh's book
Pumping Insulin. She told me she thought my calculated starting basal rates
sounded like they should be fairly close to where they should be... My
doctor does not do much with pumpers, but he was tied in with doctors who
work with diabetics on Insulin Pumps. He said I should call him as soon as
I received the pump and Novolog vials, and he would help me figure the
starting rates to program the pump for, or refer me to one of his associates
more experienced with Insulin Pumps and have his associate determine how my
pump starting rates should be programmed.
I've called my Doctor's office TWICE since I got the pump and insulin...
Each time, his office told me "he is with other patients right now, but he
will call you back some time this afternoon." I have yet to receive a
return phone call from my doctor's office, the doctor himself OR any of his
associated doctors. So I'm taking the lack of returned phone calls to mean
that when I finally get the pump training, my doctor is figuring "You got
the pump... YOU do the math, and figure the rates on your own, or with the
help of the pump companies pump trainer."
I read some responses on IP with people offering to contact me with help OFF
LIST... But when I wanted to reply OFF LIST, I noticed that I had already
deleted the Digest with their reply & Email address.
If you were one offering hints/help OFF LIST... Feel free to take this
posting as permission, or a request to contact me OFF LIST.
Thanks all... I may not have gotten a whole lot from the list yet...
however, what I have received from this list so far has been more helpful
than what little my doctor has been giving as far as help figuring anything
or scheduling anything Insulin Pump related.
If only I could get the training scheduled and be able to KNOW I wouldn't
have to reschedule because of change in my work schedule... The changing of
my work schedule is why I no longer fly R/C aircraft... I USED TO do that
on my days off, but EVERY TIME there was an R/C fun-fly event I was planning
on attending, I would get scheduled to work that day... The way my luck
consistently goes... If I plan on doing NOTHING, I will have the entire
weekend OFF and have all the time in the world to do that NOTHING... If I
make plans to do something else that weekend, it has WITHOUT FAIL worked out
that if I had made plans to do something else, 100% of the time those other
plans were made, the plant has changed its schedule, and I've ended up
forced to CANCEL those plans I had previously scheduled because I ended up
having to work during that time...
Too bad I can't realistically figure on the pump trainer being able to be
available at NO ADVANCE NOTICE so I could just work my shift over the week,
find out Thursday night that I actually have the "weekend" off, and be able
to call and get the pump training scheduled for the coming morning before I
go to bed. But since I don't like last minute items being dumped in my lap,
I don't want to try doing that type of thing to somebody else either...
After all... What goes around comes around... Do it to somebody else, and at
some point, that person or somebody else will do the same to you.
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 10:31:10 -0400
From: "Sarah Dowdell" <email @ redacted>
Subject: [IP] Night Shift
<<<And my work schedule concerning days off changes sometimes as short
notice as only 12 hours notice that I have to work my normal "night off"...
How can I schedule pump training when personally, I ONLY HAVE as little as
LESS THAN 24 HOURS advance notice that I have to work on my SUPPOSED NIGHT
I would suggest talking to your boss. It sounds like your problem
scheduling pump training isn't so much night shift, but inconsistent and
unpredictable scheduling. Explain that you're not trying to be difficult,
but that you really must know in advance what night you will be off so that
you can plan the pump training so that it won't interfere with your job.
Let your boss know that if your schedule is going to change at the last
minute, you won't be able reschedule your pump training and your boss would
have to make other arrangements for coverage since you won't be able to
safely perform your job, which is why you are trying to plan in advance when
the best time would be to schedule your training so that it doesn't come to
a last minute scramble. I have a very hard time believing that every time a
last minute change occurs, that everyone in that job is always able to work
with less than 24 hours notice. What would you do if you had to go in for a
several hour medical or dental procedure? It's the same sort of issue.
Why does your schedule change so frequently and so last minute? Is it
because of what you do and is therefore unavoidable (last minute emergencies
and the like)? Or is it just poor planning and scheduling (or complete lack
of redundancy in a position so that if someone calls out sick you are
You may just have to take a vacation day to go for pump training if the last
minute schedule problem is unavoidable (keep in mind that for day shifters,
pump training almost always requires using a vacation day because the
trainings usually only take place from 9-5 on a M-F, when day shifters
usually work). The sleep issue is a concern, but if you can work out with
your boss when you will definitely be off, then it should be work-able. If
you're drowsy at pump training, you're not going to be in serious danger
because you will be with people trained in diabetes care (so working the
night before is OK--you might even be able to squeeze in a short nap during
the day if your pump training is anything at all like mine was). The other
thing to consider is that early on it might make sense to error on the high
side for a little while and slower lower your BGs into range so that you
don't risk severe lows.
It may also be possible to suggest to your diabetes team that you really
need to split the training up into smaller chunks (say maybe do an hour or
two at a time spread over a few weeks). However, I know that with some pump
training, part of what happens is that you hook up and they watch you (and
your BG) for 6-8 hours to try to get your initial basals and Boluses close
to correct (mine was that way--which is why you might actually be able to
nap). That would be difficult to do in smaller chunks. If that's the case,
then you might ask to be admitted into the hospital for observation during
training, which would give you a rock solid reason that you will not be able
to work that evening.
It is important to get the pump training because it will allow you to have
more flexibility with your work schedule, and it may help to let your boss
know this (assuming your boss is a reasonable person, which I know some are
Best of luck!
Sarah, dx'92, pumping'00
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