Quote from Adenosine6
I'm a RN in the Bay Area, CA and there is a trend in the past 3 yrs that I've noticed. Hospitals are getting rid of 12 hr shifts and converting them to 8 hrs; can anyone tell me why? Does this save money from the Hospitals in the log end?
A Managers insight would be great!
- ER RN, "You're here for what?"
These should get you going on your research:
Medical Errors and Nursing - NYTimes.com
Study Reveals Widespread Fatigue, Risk For Errors With 12-Hour Nursing Shifts
Long story short the increased error rates and or other performance downgrade from fatigue are causing facilities to take another look at 12 hour shifts.
In a perfect world nursing service staffing would be generous enough so those working 12 hour shifts have all their 30 minute and meal breaks along with support and staffing levels so they can leave on time. That rarely happens.
Often nurses work on average one hour over their shift either on or off the books to complete things (often paperwork)that wasn't done during the previous shift. So now you've worked 13 hours (or more), and only have 11 hours to get home and deal with what has to be done there, sleep, then get up and do it all over again. If the 12 hour shifts are spaced so there is at least one full day off between then things aren't so bad, but doing two or three such days in a row is often pure hell mentally and physically.
The other frequent problem happens when the oncoming shift is short (someone calls out, etc..) and you have to remain on overtime for a full or partial shift. You've just worked 12 hours and now you're going to put in several more? At some point your body and mind are going to say "sorry hun, we're not having it", and start shutting down.