8-hour vs. 12-hour workshift: Traditional or Innovative? Benefit or Hazard? - page 2

to all registred nurses who have worked or are currently working now, what are the advantages and disadvantages of working 8 hr. vs 12-hr. workshift?... Read More

  1. by   rach_nc_03
    I detested 12 hour shifts. Hated, hated, hated them!

    If I worked 3 12s (which happened twice during orientation for new jobs- preceptors that only would work 3 12s in a row), I was in horrible shape for the first two days off. Couldn't do a daggone thing. And I was so zonked by the 3rd shift that I felt like I was going to fall apart. (Asked each NM for a preceptor who didn't always do 3 straight 12s, but never got one.) I never got enough rest when doing the back-to-back shifts; then being worried about being tired made it harder to sleep.

    So, I'd spend 2/3 of my workweek feeling horrible, then 2 of my 4 days off were basically spent in bed. So when I got a chance to do an office M-F job, the 8 hr/day schedule was a huge relief!

    I have a massive commute to my current (office) job, so my 8 hour day is frequently 12 hours, when you include commuting and the extra time I spend at the office most days (I'm salaried, so it's kinda expected). But I tell ya, even fighting DC traffic at rush hour is easier than busting my rear end, running all over the floor at the hospital. :smilecoffeeIlovecof
  2. by   RN007
    I have been contemplating this issue since getting closer to my May graduation date. I have decided 8-hr days will work better for me and my school-age children. Their dad can take them to school and I can pick them up close to the time they get dismissed, help with homework, fix supper and spend an evening with them. If I worked a 12 (days), I'd have to worry about them being in after-school care or hire a sitter b/c my husband doesn't get home until 5 or 6 p.m. (corporate job). So, while my kids need my support during the day, I'm hoping for an 8-hr job. With so many hospitals going to 12-hrs only, however, I may not get that choice!
  3. by   jo272wv
    I have worked 12 hour shifts since I graduated in may, I like having four days off a week with the option to pick up another shift for overtime. The only time it hurts is if census is down and you get called off for the whole shift then you just hope you have some holiday time or vacation time (wont be until next june) to cover the lost wages.
  4. by   Demonsthenes
    It is clear that one of the reasons why there is so much nursing burn out and so many medical errors and medication errors is the 12 hour shift.
    Also, the fact is that hospital nurses have significantly shorter life times than women in other professions. It is clear that one of the reasons for this is the emotional and physical stress caused by the 12 hour shift.
    End the 12 hour shift.
  5. by   Ruffles 1
    I think nurses should not work 12 hour shifts, many mistakes are made when you are on your third 12 hour shift. What about working 10 hour shifts. There could be over lapping of staff for a while during report time. The shift before could finish work and help with admissions and discharges during this time. I think then nurses wouldn't be as tired and could spend time with there families.
  6. by   RNperdiem
    When I worked 8 hour days, it felt like I worked so much more. More meals to set up, more meds, and less time.
    Now that I work 12 hours, there often is a slowdown of the pace around 3pm. If patients remain stable, I use the 3-5 time to catch up and sit for a bit.
    I noticed that 3-11 was always the most difficult and unpopular shift to staff. 12 hour shifts eliminated that problem.
  7. by   RN_in_SC
    As a PCT and in my practicum I worked 12 hours shifts. At first I thought it was soooo long. I got used to it quickly - things are so busy time goes by fast. I would also get to be there when a patient left the floor (for a procedure) and be ther when they gat back - the patients seemed to like that.
    My new job is half hour away (compared with 5 minutes away at my old job) with the price of gas and all, I prefer to only go three times a week.
    One of the reasons I went into nursing as a second career was that I hated the 8-5 thing with just the weekends off. I always worked late (on salary) and I never had a weekday off to do errands, so I like the three days a week, but I don't like working more than two days in a row of 12 hour shifts.
  8. by   whodatnurse
    Wow! People are split right down the middle on this one. I'm not a nurse yet so I've been wondering a lot about this. I'm not so sure I like the idea of work, go home, collapse, repeat twice. Although the four days off sounds nice, I would think all of the first day would be about physical recuperation to recharge your batteries. I wish they had the option of 4 ten hour shifts...I think I would like that one the most. I could still have three days off AND two more hours of free time on the days I work to get to the gym or do something relaxing.
  9. by   RNKPCE
    I think it is all personal preference and that preference can even change when the individuals personal circumstances change. If I had to work full time or close to it I'd rather do 12hrs. I work part time well actually per diem and work 1-2 shifts a week on swing. If I worked 12hr I'd not be able to do anything on the days I worked. With 8 hrs I can attend my kids sporting events on the weekends if they are before 3p attend church etc.
  10. by   tntrn
    Quote from weirdRN
    I like sixteens. Call me Nuts, but I would rather do the sixteen and have the rest of the week off. I am exhausted after and so I only work and sleep on the days I am scheduled.
    I think 12's are bad enough as far as stamina goes, but you have summed it up for me with your statement. I DO NOT want a nurse who is exhausted taking care of me, passing meds, doing treatments. I question or make a point of finding out what kind of shifts and how many the nurse has done whenever in the care of a facility.
  11. by   RN_in_SC
    I am more tired when I have to work in the morning than when I have worked a 12 or a 16. I am not scared of nurses who have already worked 10+ hours. Heck, some doctors work 24+ hours straight and then have to operate. I think we should be able to pass out meds.
  12. by   wildmountainchild
    I work 3 12's a week. Sometime 4. I really love it. I don't feel tired unless we get really slow and there isn't anything to do. Then the hours just drag by. Luckily that doesn't happen much in the ED. I wonder about the med error studies. Were the nurses making those erors only making them after they had passed the 8 hr mark, or did they make the errors in the first 8 hours of the shift?

    It seems to me that I always end my 12's feeling perky and as if I could easily go another 4. The 4 days off a week is the real winning point. I can take chinese lessons and work on my pilots license. I feel like I actually get to have a life outside of work.
  13. by   nursein08
    I just started 12s and love them. I can't believe how fast the time goes. We have self scheduling, so if we don't want to work our 12s back to back, we can schedule every other day or however it works out. I like knowing that I get those extra days off during the week. We also only have to work every 3rd weekend, which is another plus. During my orientation we did 8 hr days and I hated it. I thought the shift would never end. I would gladly take 12s over 8s anyday.

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