I love my 12 hour nights! I work in critical care (currently travelling so in several kinds of units) and agree that 12's work well in this environment. There is more continuity between nurses (less to get lost in multiple shift reports) and you have more time to get to know your patients. Out of a shift, you spend 45 min to an hour in report (taking and giving), 1/2 to an hour at break (if you're lucky!
) That is up to 1/4 of an 8 hour shift away from the bedside. Working 12's you get to spend more of your workweek at the bedside- I personally feel this means your patients will tell you more about what they need, both verbally and nonverbally. I never had time to read a chart working 8's. Working 12's it did happen sometimes. 12's also mean less shift report time per patient day- more nursing time for patients. It works well for me personally as well- 3 days a week. Working 4 10's right now and the difference is obvious.
One bad thing about 12's- there is a huge flurry of activity right in the last 90 minutes of the shift. Docs come around stealing your charts, labs have to be sent, reported and treated; and unless there are foleys involved everyone has to go as soon as they are woken up by the intern.
All this when you're at your most tired. Maybe 4-4 or 12-12 instead of 7-7? Any thoughts?