Does your hospital have mostly 12 or 8 hour nursing positions???

  1. In the past year we've gone from mostly 8 hour to mostly 12 hour shifts.

    I only work 8 hours. I find after 8 hours I get too tired, let alone working 12 hours per shift.

    I used to work 12 hours on midnight....I was so tired after 12 hours and my feet ached badly.

    What I've found on our unit is that 12 hour shift "pick" their patients. Our shifts go from 7 to 7. At 3 P.M. the day shift 12 hour nurse's pick which patients they want.

    One day I arrived early to the unit...the charge day nurse was asking what patient the 12 hour nurse's would like to pick up. After the 12 hour nurse's picked which team they wanted....I jokely said, "Can I pick my team....I want all my patients to only have heplocks." The nurse's started laughing.

    What I've found is after the 1st 8 hours majority of our nurses are at the desk for the last 4 hours. Though a handful work very busy to the end. I'm not trying to make this thread a 12 vs. 8 hour thread. I think more than likely the nurses are tired. I remember when I'd come in at 7 P.M. I'd have an "easier" group of patients than if I came in at 11 P.M. and only worked 8 hours.

    I'm just curious how your unit functions? Mostly 12 or 8 hours? Do 12 hour nurses pick their patients for the last 4 hours? Do you think 12 or 8 hour shift are best? Thanks!!!
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   kimberle
    We have mostly 12 hr. shifts. For me it works better for childcare. (I have 3 under the age of 10.) If I didn't have to work full time (I receive no child support), I think the optimal would be 3 8 hr. shifts. Energy levels last about 8 hrs. that's for sure. The only 8 hr. shift that gets "screwed" is our 3-11 shift. Because the majority are 12 hr. shifts, they often have to change their assignments midway - the first 4 hrs. with one assignment and the 2nd half with a different assignment. I know I don't volunteer to change my assignment to work around them, I admit it.
  4. by   DethOkay
    As a travler and a perdiem nurse I have found a LOT of varation in shift times and schedules. Most facilities have both 8 and 12 hour shifts I have yet to see any hospital remove either one in favor of the other....
  5. by   NicuGal
    We have both....people work whatever works best for them And if you work 12 hours and have someone's primary, you have to give it up to them at the start of the "standard" shift...7a-3p-11p. So sometimes you have to change your whole assignment for the last 4 hours of your shift...what a pain!
  6. by   All41
    At our hospital and in our unit we have 8hr., 10hr. and 12 hr. shifts. We have a group who cover nights and weekends which include 7p-7a shifts. This seems to work out very well for all.
  7. by   SICU Queen
    At my hospital, except for the ER, we work strictly 12 hour shifts. It's much easier to schedule everyone that way. (We self-schedule in ICU, the floors are scheduled by the managers.)

    I wouldn't want to work 8 hour shifts. I'd rather do my three 12's and have four days off every week.
  8. by   Josefin
    in Sweden the most common shifts are 06.45 am-16.00 pm, 13.00 pm-22.00 pm and 21.00 pm-07.00 am. As ou can see we have 3 shifts, I think it works pretty well. The only really bad one is the "A" shift (starts at 06.45). I truly hate getting up that early in the morning! Still, I do thin it would be great to have the opportune to work 12 hour shifts. I think it would suite me pretty well.
  9. by   RN-PA
    At our hospital, I think the only unit with only 12 hour shifts is ICU. The rest of the hospital has a variety of 8's and 12's on each unit.

    On our 65-bed Med-Surg where I work 3-11 (1445-2315) shift, the 12 hour nurses- 7A to 7P- never change their assignments at 3P, but may have one or two patients added due to less staff on 3-11. If they have made assignments in the morning without looking ahead to 3-11, the full-time, 3-11 shift 8 hour nurses often have to take a new assignment from the previous evening since the 12 hour nurses (7A-7P) refuse to change patients for 4 hours, which I agree with, for the sake of continuity of care. But, it HAS sometimes caused hard feelings between the full-time 12 hour and the full-time 8 hour nurses.

    I work part-time so we part-timers come in already knowing and accepting that we won't necessarily have the same assignment 2 nights in a row; I think having the mixture of 8's and 12's is hardest on the full-time 3-11 shift 8 hour nurses. But also, the 7P to 7A nurses often have to change their assignments due to us 8 hour nurses taking their patients from a previous night, so they've been upset at times... It can really be a scheduling nightmare and I know everyone tries to be fair, but it can be very difficult with the mixture of shifts.

    For the casual (or sometimes called, pool) worker, the 12 hour shifts make it possible for them to work for just 4 hours here and there when there are needs, which works well for those with childcare problems, to come in 3-7P or 7P-11P, and we can always use their help!
  10. by   30?andholding
    :roll Our hospital has almost totally gone to 12 hour shifts for the nursing staff. The handful of people who remain on the 8/hr kind of mess up our whole schedule.
    I work 12 hours, 7P to 7A. I love it. My husband also works the same hours and same days as I do (actually he is also a nurse and works at the same place). I enjoy only working 3 nights a week. The rest of the week is MINE........ALL MINE.......... , except of course when they call me in.
  11. by   donmurray
    UK nurses work a 37.5 hour week, most work 8 hour shifts (less 1/2 h unpaid for meal break) Normal shifts are approx 7A-3P 1P-9P and the night shift is 8.30P-7.30A averaging 7 shifts per 2 weeks 12's are seen as unhealthy, and very much a minority.
  12. by   MHN
    we work both 8hr days and evenings 0700-1530 & 1330-2200hrs
    and 10 hrs nights 2130-0730
  13. by   kewlnurse
    We have a 37.5 hour week and have a few 12.5 hour shifts and they are coveted! The icu's, er's 1 tele floor, ther renal ranch and one med teaching floor. The rest are 7.5 hour ( no paid lunch) I forone will never ever ever ever never ever never ever want ot go back to the 5 day a week grind of 8 hour shifts. I cannoat see how sombody would prefer to work 5 days a week when you can work 3. m of the hospital want to work 13 hors but management is very against it, heaven forbid you make your staff happy.
  14. by   ClariceS
    I wish we had opportunity for 10 hour shifts so we could have a little overlap on the busy parts of the day. We have a majority of 12 hour shifts and a few 8's available on the floors. It is very hard to find 3-11 staff so people leave at 3 and the 12 hour workers have to pick up extra patients...on a surgical floor which gets busy in the afternoon anyway. For the few 8 hour shifts available 7a-3p is all filled and 11p-7a is filled. But if we tried to force 12 hr shifts across the board, we would lose some very valuable nurses and that is not worth it in this time of nursing shortage.

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