While there are different work schedules for nurses in many health care facilities, it’s believed that the difficulty among them is the NOC SHIFT. If the abbreviation NOC sounds strange to you, don’t worry because this short article is meant to explain to you what NOC means in nursing, including what NOC shift is.

What Does NOC Stand For In Nursing?

Oftentimes people ask, what does NOC mean in medical terms or nursing? The meaning of NOC is nocturnal, in other words, NOC is an abbreviation for nocturnal. If you are still not familiar with the word nocturnal, it means night. So wherever the abbreviation NOC is used in nursing it means night. If so, what does NOC shift mean?

In a nutshell, NOC shift is a term used in nursing or hospitals for night shift. In some health care settings, you may also hear nurses and other health care professionals prefer to night shift as graveyard shift or the third shift.

NOC shift

Night Shift Vs Day Shift Nursing: Which Is Better?

Unlike office workers, healthcare providers (nurses, doctors etc.) operate on a twenty-four-hour schedule. Some nurses are just good at staying in the night with their patients and will just choose the night shift over any other shifts so they can attend to some personal activities during the day. However, this is not the same for many nurses, as they will prefer the bright day shifts to the midnight shifts.

Most health care settings make it easy for staffs to decide on the shift they want to work. In such facilities, all you have to do is decide on the shift you want to run and make your request known to your unit in charge of the schedule planner.

However, if you have a family think about them when it comes to your schedules. Don’t think about what is good for you or will be good for you, consider what will favour your family when choosing between evening shift vs night shift or night nurse vs day nurse.

This can be very challenging so you have to be very sure of what to go for. But you also have to bear in mind that every shift comes with advantages and disadvantages, and switching between shifts; going from night shift to day shift or from day shift to night can be very challenging. It is therefore advisable to learn some surviving tips when running a night shift.

Effects Of Working Night Shift On Relationships

Study revealed that night shifts create a lot of problems in relationships and marriages. It is also said to be one of the causes of separation and divorce. This is because working night shifts doesn’t allow any family gathering or planning. It’s also difficult for couples to have face-to-face interaction and have a regular sex life when they are working a night shift. 

This means that a nurse who is always on the night shift can leave his or her partner with different feelings including the feeling of detachment. The night shift nurse must therefore have all these downsides in mind and work on them especially when he or she is in a relationship or married.

It’s also important to understand that it is very difficult to run night shifts at hospitals that are very busy at night because you will become overwhelmed and stress up. You may even become more irritable as a result of poor sleep patterns.

Difference Between Evening And Night Shift

Everyone can tell the difference between night and evening, but let’s find out what are night shift hours and evening shift hours are. Evening shift and night shift are terms often used interchangeably. However, night shift is used more often than the evening shift to describe working after 5 pm in different countries 

PBS website also revealed that an evening shift means working between 4 pm and 12 midnight, and a night shift means working from 12 midnight to 8 am. 

So, in a nutshell, if you are a nurse and half of your working hours falls between 4 pm and midnight, you are automatically running an evening shift, and if you’re working from midnight to 8 am, you are running the night shift.

Based on my experience with the hospitals I have worked, typical nurse shifts are as follows:

  • Days shifts, also known as First shift runs from 6 am to 2 pm or 7 am to 3 pm
  • Evening shifts, also known as Second shifts start from 2 pm to 10 pm or 3 pm to 11 pm
  • And Night shifts, also known as Third shift start from 10 pm to 6 am or from 11 pm to 7 am

Bear in mind that there are not exact times; your facility or hospital will decide on the starting and closing time, but in all, there are about eight hours and thirty minutes break.

You also have to understand that there is a differential in most hospitals for working day shifts and night shift. That means you can make more money when you are burning the midnight oil in the hospital.

NOC shift meaning

Benefits Of Working Night Shift 

Night shifts schedules are seen as one of the work schedules for nurses that comes with a lot of advantages and disadvantages, so let’s look at the good side of working as a night nurse.

  • You will encounter less traffic

One great benefit of working the 3rd shift is it will help you to escape traffic. If you drive to work you will know what I’m talking about, the frustration rush hours will make you go through is nothing to write home about. But if you are on the night shift and you are driving to work you will not encounter much traffic because the road will be less busy. This means that you will spend less time on the road. You will also save on fuel cost. Remember the more you stay in traffic, the more the car consumes fuel.

  • More Time For Your Daily Runs

If you’re into other stuff like business or education, night shifts will give you the room to run them during the day. For nurses who want to further their education and move to a higher level in their career, the NOC shift makes it easier for them as they can meet the tutors and attend classes lectures during the day.

Less busy times at work can serve as an opportunity for you to study. But you will have to make sure you catch up on sleep while doing all these.

  • More Money.

Do graveyard shifts pay more or do night shift pay more? Let’s sum up the benefits of the night shift with the question above. Yes, working the graveyard shift can earn extra money for you. Night shifts can be very exhausting especially if it is your first night shift, and most companies know about this. So hospitals pay their nurses’ extra money for working the NOC shift.

Final Words

At the end of the day you will definitely settle for a shift, whether it’s day shift, evening shift or night shift, we advise you make time for sleep.

Related Articles:

10 Surviving Tips For Nurses Working The Night Shifts

How Many Hours A Week Does A Nurse Work?

Written by
Albright McHeals