I just had a question. I hear a lot that nurses feel over-worked and burned out, and even though I am really excited about the profession, I don't want it to be my life. I was just wondering, do most of you find yourselves working basic 36 or 40 hour weeks, or do you find that you have to do a lot of overtime too? Do you get time to yourself? I am really scared that I will end up disliking nursing because I'll feel like all I do is work, work work.
Jan 12, '07
Remember to pace yourself & not sign up for too much OT right away. I have never worked anywhere where OT was mandatory. You may want to schedule yourself for several days in a row so that you can have several days off together, like working 3 12 hour shifts in a row @ the end of one week, take one day off & then work 3 more 12 hour shifts in a row the next week, & you won't have to be back to work for up to 7 days. Keep in mind that you should rest & sleep enough & eat well. Have fun whenever you can & try not to talk shop too much with out with co-workers. When you start to dread going to work you are working too much & need some time away.
Jan 12, '07
Like Victoria said, sometimes working several days in a row and having several days off keeps the burnout away; for others, like myself, working one or two days on and having one or two days off is the key. I try not to work more than one day at a time (unless it's my mandatory weekend on); leaving after a 12 hour shift (which is usually 13+ hours) and knowing I DON'T have to come in again that night is a relief for me. I have one co-worker who totally is with me on this, does the same thing (can't face two nights in a row more than twice a month!!) and another one who wants to get three 12's over with asap so she can have three or four off.
Whatever gets you the most rest/sleep is what you need to do. Find a facility that does NOT have mandated overtime, if that's your concern. A hospital in my area pays several dollars more per hour, is unionized, and also has mandates that keep nurses working a WHOLE lot more than they expected when they signed on.
My facility, like some others, has no union but also no mandates, and we work the schedules we want. The only OT "required" is to finish the paperwork on our shift if it takes longer than the shift itself. And that depends on the day and patient load.
I can pick up extra shifts any time I want to, for a whole bunch of bucks extra to boot. Do I? Never. I value my time off more than I value the extra pay for extra shifts, but that's just me.
Jan 14, '07
In our hospital, we are always preached to that we are NOT to work OT unless it was previously approved by our manager. We are to try not to stay over our shift unless approved, etc.
I am with RNsRWe: I, too, don't like to work my days back to back unless it's my assigned weekend. I prefer to leave work knowing that I don't have to get up and go back the next morning. BUT, last week, I worked 2 in a row, off one, then 2 in a row, and now I am off for 5 days. That is nice, BUT, I was so pooped by the end of those days I worked.
Jan 14, '07
I work 40 hours a week-- 3 12-h shifts and one 4-h. I love it. I was doing 5-8h shifts and it was awful, never got two days in a row off..just awful. Now I work one or two 12's, then have a couple days off....works for me. I don't feel over worked and I actually feel better than I did working shorter shifts. We have a mandatory 12h of call time per month...thats just the nature of the beast on our floor where the census can change pretty quickly. Call is usually in 4h blocks and I think it goes up to 16h/month during the summer. Not sure about overtime...just call mostly. I've been asked to do an extra 4h here and there...sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, just depends on what my schedule is like that week. My 12's are 11a - 1130p and its the best thing for me.
Jan 15, '07
Thanks alot guys, all this info helps alot!
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