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5 Nursing Horrors During a Full Moon

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By Kristen Smith, R.N.

We’re all familiar with the typical Halloween horror stories. They usually involve ghosts, goblins, vampires, or killer clowns with machetes. But if you want to experience a REAL horror story, work a night shift during a full moon. Most people think the “full moon phenomenon” is a myth. I assure you it is not. I work day shift. I see the beginnings of the crazy during the day and pick up the pieces the next morning. Allow me to explain. Here are five nursing horrors of a full moon night shift.

1. Sweet turns into Crazy


That sweet tiny little old lady with dementia turns into Satan’s apprentice around 6 p.m. “Sundowning,” as we nurses call it, is real. But sundowning during a full moon is different. One second, the sweet old lady is offering you a bite of her dinner. The next second, she’s trying to stab your eye with her dinner fork. The look in her cute little eyes even changes. She is now demon possessed. Get 2mg IV Ativan stat!

2. Short Staffing

This should be the case!

It always seems that during full moon nights nurses are short staffed. When patients crash, you better get into gear because there will likely be no backup. If there is a backup available, they won’t show until after the event is over.

3. People Get Sicker

Image credit: MightyNurse.com
Image credit: MightyNurse.com

I’m not kidding. It must be the Universe’s way of naturally controlling human population. Patients get sicker, blood pressures bottom out, temperatures spike, and respiratory function decreases. You will need to save the lives of multiple people at one time. Good luck.

4. Crazy Family gets Crazier

The nurses’ station is no longer a refuge. Crazy stalker families will find you. And they will, somehow, have more complaints and requests. You must seek out a more secure location during a full moon.

5. More Admissions

Image credit: allnurses.com

As if your hands aren’t already full with crashing patients, more admissions are coming. It seems more drug overdoses, car wrecks, and alcohol withdrawals happen during a full moon. You’ll be slammed with admissions. Every. Single. Time.

These are just five nursing horrors that happen during a full moon. If you’re a new nurse, consider this a warning and be prepared. If this isn’t your first rodeo, thank you for your long-standing service. Good luck to all and Happy Halloween!

I am a full-time registered nurse, wife and new mom. I've recently started writing part-time and I love it! My family is my life. I enjoy spending time with them in my free time.

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