Med/Surg CNAs-- 12 hour shifts?

  1. I've just recently been hired by the hospital as a Med/Surg CNA. ( ) All CNA's there do 12 hour shifts instead of eight hours. That sounds a little brutal! Are there any Med/Surg CNA's out there who have any insight on how you get through the day? Is your week "messed up" by only working three long days? I think that I will enjoy three long days/four days off better than a normal daily schedule, but I can't be sure.

    I've done a 13 hour shift at the nursing home, so I kind of have an idea of what it's like.
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    About eveningsky339

    Joined: Nov '09; Posts: 170; Likes: 131
    Med/Surg CNA; from US
    Specialty: LTC, Med/Surg


  3. by   tokidoki7
    I work as a CNA on a med surg unit (over 30 beds). I used to work FT, 3 12s in a row, and it was brutal, especially if there weren't enough CNAs on the floor to begin with. I then changed my schedule to working 2 12s in row, have a couple days of inbetween, and then work the 3rd 12. Depending on the census and acuity of the patients, I made it through the day by staying busy, resting as much as possible, or going outside the hospital for lunch. Fortunately, my unit let's us work 4, 8, and 10 hour shifts (even 16 hour shifts!). I'm part-time now, so I don't work 12s that much.
  4. by   Sart45
    I just got hired as a CNA on the Ortho floor of a hospital. I start in a week and am absolutely delighted to get in a hospital setting. I'm currently taking pre-reqs for nursing so hope this will help me decide if I really want to do this. This is my first CNA job!
    I am supposed to be working 3 12 hour shifts also. This scares me as that is a long, long day! And, yes HOW does one get through the day? Going outside during lunch is a great suggestion...any thing else? Thanks
  5. by   CoffeemateCNA
    I have never worked med/surg, but I used to do 12s all the time. The key for me was eating -- all day long -- to keep up my energy. Just not junk food or processed food - it will make you feel tired and "sick." Split up lots of healthy foods into snack-sized portions that you can keep in your pockets and eat in 1-2 minutes during a lull. Peanuts/cashews, carrot sticks, prunes, cranberries, crackers, and granola bars are all great options. Also be sure to stay hydrated. Eat whenever you can, you never know when you'll get another chance.

    Be sure to take your breaks, if possible. They are so much more necessary when working 12s than with 4s or 8s. Use that time to sit down and recharge your batteries.