Can nurses in the US really work a straight 24 hour shift?? - page 3

I was reacently watching an episode of Dr Phil (yes I know I need a new hobby :p ) about women who are overworked/overscheduled etc. There was a story of a woman who is a nurse in a neo natal... Read More

  1. by   Roozeyk
    I've worked a couple of 24's. One was due to a snowstorm and the 7p-7a nurse couldn't make it in, and the other time a 7p-7a nurse called in at the last minute. I wouldn't recommend this, I think it puts any unit at high risk for error, and would probably not stand up well in a court of law.
  2. by   Kingbandit
    Quote from orrnlori
    It's never happened to me personally but we've had several nurses and scrub techs who have worked 24 hours while on call, 24 hours straight, maybe a potty break. I think here the limit is suppose to be 23 hours. Now would you really want someone (doctor, nurse, or scrub tech) performing surgery on you or your loved one who has been up for 24 hours? I've seen residents fall asleep while holding retractors, really builds confidence in the system, doesn't it?
    I am a scrub tech returning to nursing school. As a nurse I would never do more than 16 but as a tech I have routinely worked 24's once I worked 96 hours in 7days I had 2-4 hour breaks during a snow emergency My boss threatened to fire me if she had to pay that much overtime ever again.
  3. by   TweetiePieRN
    I don't think it is legal over here to work 24 hrs straight thru. We work 16 hours in a row sometimes...they are called doubles. Sometimes I'll make a remark to someone coming off their 16 hr double "Hey, so and so, are you going to be working a triple?"
  4. by   heart queen
    Our automated time clock automaticaly punches you out after 16 hrs., Imagine the ruckus when payroll had to adjust it to 22 hrs because there were two crashing patients for several hours, one call in and one nurse short to begin with. It just snowballed! Have worked may a 16 hr. though.
  5. by   PedsNurse1981
    I would NEVER work a 24 hour shift. Sometimes here there's a nurse or two who will volunteer for a 16 but not me.
  6. by   nialloh
    Quote from Kingbandit
    I am a scrub tech returning to nursing school. As a nurse I would never do more than 16 but as a tech I have routinely worked 24's once I worked 96 hours in 7days I had 2-4 hour breaks during a snow emergency My boss threatened to fire me if she had to pay that much overtime ever again.

    Just a quick question. During that snow emergency, did you have the option to go home, or were you told to stay. If you were told to stay, how could she justify the threat to fire you?
  7. by   rjflyn
    Saw this episode on Dr. Phil. This nurse in particular is an NNP- neonatal nurse practitioner. She did say she works 24 hrs straight but at 2 different hospitals. SHe gets off at one and drive accross town to the other. She didn't say she gets to sleep on the job or not but did at the are periods of time she is up for 42 hours or more. She said she does this to have more time at home - she only works 72 hrs every 2 weeks.

    I know i wouldnt want her caring for my sick baby
    Rj:angryfire
  8. by   P_RN
    I've done it a couple of times during hazardous weather. Here in the South if it even looks like snow things get bogged down STAT! Anyway, I remember 2 snow storms where I was mandated to stay (1 actually was a blizzard), Hurricaine Hugo (I cam in but couldn't get out)and a really bad tornado. You can get punch drunk and make mistakes, but hopefully not too bad and hopefully not too often.
  9. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I have worked a 21 hr shift as a nurse. I checked into it, and it was legal.

    Some facilities consider 16 and 18 hr shifts the norm, and some staff only work these long shifts.
  10. by   ltcdon
    Nurses in Tennessee can work no more than 16 hours, and then they must have a 4 hour break. This break does not mean that they get to go home or even sleep, they are just required to 'put their feet up somewhere' and then they can continue working. The exceptions to this rule are OR nurses who are allowed to work 24 hours straight.
  11. by   EMTI19
    I work 24 on and 48 off. In EMS you never know how much sleep you are going to get. I work 6a to 6a and am not allowed to have "down time" until 5pm. There are plenty of things to keep us busy at the station for 11hrs. But, there are days when we are slammed and I don't get an ounce of sleep until I get home and then I have to go to school in the morning. So 48 hrs off feels like 24. I would never recommend working 2 24's or even 2 18's a week for a nurse when you know you will be busy for the whole shift. It sounds great that you are working only 2 days a week, but the day after your shift usually disappears (at least for me it does.)
  12. by   CougRN
    Quote from rjflyn
    Saw this episode on Dr. Phil. This nurse in particular is an NNP- neonatal nurse practitioner. She did say she works 24 hrs straight but at 2 different hospitals. SHe gets off at one and drive accross town to the other. She didn't say she gets to sleep on the job or not but did at the are periods of time she is up for 42 hours or more. She said she does this to have more time at home - she only works 72 hrs every 2 weeks.

    I know i wouldnt want her caring for my sick baby
    Rj:angryfire
    Residents and Interns work 36 hours on at our place and don't always get to sleep. Would you also refuse to have them? If so, then never go to a teaching hospital.

    As for the length of shift I have worked a few 20's and many more 16's. It can be difficult but I am normally well compensated for it. I wouldn't do it every month but every now and then it is nice.
  13. by   BittyBabyGrower
    If she is going from one job to another, that is her problem! Our practitioners used to be on 24's but now they do 12's. Our lifeflight teams are 24 hours on call sometimes, with exception of the pilots.

    I've done some 16's and that is rough!

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