"Older" nurses and 12 hour shifts - page 2

a recent medscape article "oldies are goodies" talks about the value of "older" nurses (age 45 and up) and how to best retain them. the article suggests that according to this article i'm... Read More

  1. by   oramar
    Am 58 and numb with fatigue after 8hrs. My biggest worry is that they will go to 12 throughout the hospital. Oh, and I work steady 3-11 cause rotating shifts is difficult.
  2. by   grandee3
    59 here and love 12 hour shifts (nights). We start at 6pm and off at 6:30am. It has been working for me now for about 6 years. I had a bit of a break after Katrina and sat out for about 9 months. It was a little hard going back and getting into that routine again.
    I stick to a sleep/wake routine and try not to get off track.
    I always make sure I go directly home after work and go right to bed. On my nights off, I get up about 2pm. When I have to go back that night I wake up at 4:30pm. If it is my first night after being off, stay up the night before until about 2am and get up at noon and stay awake until it's time to leave for work.
    I never could understand why some people, who work night shift do all their appts, meetng and chores when they get off, or schedule things in the middle of the day where they sleep a little in the morning, keep an appt. and then go back home and sleep a few hours before their shift. That would not work for me, at all. also do not work 3 shifts in a row, and sometimes pick up a day shift.
    I hope I can keep this up because I still have a few years left before retirement. C
  3. by   Tweety
    I manage 12-hour shifts just fine. Mind you I'm quite tired after a busy day, it does take a lot out of me, but heck I'm tired after a 8 hour day, so adding on another 4 hours isn't that much more difficult and the payoff is 4 days off a week, which leaves me time for school, and other activities.

    I switched from nights to days because I was tired all the time, even on my days off. I feel much better on day shift. Don't know if it was an age thing or not.

    I think choices should be available. Young nurses with kids at home may not be able to handle 12 hour shifts for having to come home and deal with kids.
  4. by   Tweety
    Quote from oramar
    Am 58 and numb with fatigue after 8hrs. My biggest worry is that they will go to 12 throughout the hospital.

    I think this is the point of the article. That to retain good nurses such as yourself, options should be available and 12 hour shifts shouldn't be forced.
  5. by   huskersfan
    I am 49 and I work 3 12hrs in a week. I am tired after the end of the shift but having 4 days off a week is great. You can get so much done. I am no more tired at the end of the day than the kids ( 22-35yr. olds) are .
  6. by   JoAnna McNurse
    I'm 57 and just graduated from an accelerated 2nd degree nursing program and am in a 12 week internship. My preceptor works three 12's a week and I work when she works. I thought I would llike the 12's but I'm not sure. Aside from the very long work day....I don't like "going in the dark and comming home in the dark.' It just seems like you loose whole days of your life since your too tired to do anything once you get home. I haven't decided on what schedule I'll eventually ask for.
  7. by   TheCommuter
    I work the Baylor Plan, meaning that I have Monday through Friday off and work 16 hour double shifts on Saturday and Sunday.

    My coworker, a 52 year old woman, has been working the 16 hour double shifts for the past 5 years and would not have it any other way. She would absolutely hate having to come to work 5 days per week. To sum it all up, she actually prefers the compressed work week and 16 hour shifts.

    There are many other "older" nurses at my workplace who prefer 16 hour shifts as opposed to 8 hour shifts.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    I did 12 hour shifts (always 3 in a row) until I was 47. I now work 55-60 hours/week and have much less time off.
  9. by   cjj0603
    I am a new grad at 52, and I basically like 12 hour shifts. By the time I finish charting, it's really a 13 hour day. I go home, have a snack and go to sleep. The only time it's a problem for me is if I am scheduled for 3 days in a row like 12 - 12 - 8 or 12 - 8 - 12. By the time I have a day off, it takes me a full 24 hours to recover.
    I know scheduling is difficult for the managers, but mine tries to accomodate people's requests and choices; I think every hospital should.
  10. by   Sunflowerinsc
    Waaay over 40! Loved 12 hr shifts for the past 15 years. Now I am PRN and some weeks I still work 3 12's but alot just 2. The best thing is now I can pick the 2 or 3, as long as I am needed on the schedule. So far I have not been called off, called alot to see if I could work. Had to learn to say no! Sure ,I have some aches after but so did I when I was ONLY 40! I am not requried to work nights as prn but have acouple times to help someone out.Work on medical 26 bed floor and all shifts just fly by. I think I would really be old if I didn't work at all. Problaly couldln't get up every morning!!
  11. by   Mimi2RN
    I'm 63, i've done 12 hour nightshifts for 15 years, and a split before that. I found 8 hr night shifts exhausting. There was never enough time off. I only had 2 nights off together every other weekend. Now if I do 3 in a row, I can have several days off. If I work it right, I can have a week off without using vacation time. We do self schedule, so I can request time like that.

    I don't usually accomplish much on my first day off, and I figure that's often a good night to go out for dinner. Housework can wait!
  12. by   33-weeker
    i'm 40. i work 12's. i recently had to return to night shift due to childcare issues. i have figured out that i like working on-3, off-1, on-3, off-7. this keeps me from feeling like crap from nickle & diming myself here and there, never knowing what my body is doing from one day to the next. also, the 1 off let's me catch up on my rest if the unit is unusually busy, or if i have had my sleep disturbed.

    i usually work wed-thurs-fri, sun-mon-tues. that way i don't have too many days in one week/pay period.

    i like 12's. i'll keep working them as long as i can.
  13. by   nan1993
    I have worked twelve hour shifts since our hopitals changed in the eighties. I like twelve hours with self scheduling compared to eight hours. I will admit I am tired more often than when I was in my twenties.

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