Is it normal to be this exhausted after a 12 hr shift? - page 2

I was hoping to get some feedback from other floor nurses. I work 3 12's (usually in a row) and I feel like I'm going to collapse after just 8hrs on the floor! I usually get a break, I change shoes... Read More

  1. by   1st edition
    How long has the fatigue been this extreme? Was it gradual? I was exp extreme fatigue awhile back as well. I had suffered from sheer exhaustion for >2 yrs. It was untreated early menopause (I don't know how old you are), early endometriosis, and bil ovarian cysts. I had a total in Arpil and feel great! I have not had a day off since Oct 15th and won't get one until sometime in Nov. and I'm doing fine. Yes, I am tired but not exhausted. Some of my shifts are 12 hrs as well. Go have a check up. It sounds like something may be amiss. I do not believe the fatigue you describe is normal. Don't let the docs tell you it's all in your head either.
  2. by   am17sg05
    Quote from zias
    I was hoping to get some feedback from other floor nurses. I work 3 12's (usually in a row) and I feel like I'm going to collapse after just 8hrs on the floor! I usually get a break, I change shoes halfway through my shift, wear compression stockings, eat well and stay hydrated. Still, I get home at night and it's all I can do to get myself in the tub and off to bed! It scares me how debilitated I feel, and I am in SO much pain - I ache all over. I can barely drive myself home, and I am on dayshift. It takes me at least two days to recover. My first day off I can barely get out of bed. I do make the effort to exercise on my days off. I do take care of myself - eat right, exercise, adequate sleep, good social supports....I like my job and coworkers and I don't want to find another one. I am just struggling physically. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you manage?
    i used to work 3 consecutive 12 hour night shift(weekend) in telemetry.i ask my family to drive me to the hospital 7pm and pick me up 7am.i could not afford to drive anymore because i feel very tired and sleepy.more so with dayshift so i believe, what you feel is pretty understandable unless you are a super woman.the thing positive there is you got 4 days to relax and recover from all the hardwork.by the time you are due to come in again and work, you have recharged already.take it easy...
  3. by   angel337
    when i would work 3 12's in a row, i would feel like i got hit with a truck the next day. when i went to 8 hour shifts only, i felt normal. there is nothing wrong with you. i think it is obvious that it is your work schedule and not your health that has you so tired. you didn't have this problem before working there right?. bedside nursing is a very physically demanding job, even if you work in a nice place, it doesn't matter because most nurses are on their feet all day and run around like a chicken. i say change you shifts to 8's and you will see a dramatic difference.
  4. by   zacarias
    I used to work 3 12s in a row but don't anymore as I didn't feel well and even missed some days from such a schedule. (I'm pretty young and I know a lot of folks do 6 12s in a row, but I'm just not cut for such craziness)

    I since have changed to no more than 2 12s in a row and that has helped tremendously.
  5. by   TazziRN
    Yes, it's normal. I do 12's and used to do 3 in a row. That third day was a killer if either (or both) of the first two were bad. Now I do 2 in a row and it's much easier, even though still tiring.
  6. by   Nur_1996
    I feel the same way after I work my 3 , 12 hour shifts in a row. I guess hearing that the fibromyalgia is also, a reason I feel so achy and tired, oh yeah, the diabetes too! I try to take care of myself, but it is so hard to do sometimes. This is a great website to get support from other nurses.
  7. by   Hoozdo
    Quote from TazziRN
    Yes, it's normal. I do 12's and used to do 3 in a row. That third day was a killer if either (or both) of the first two were bad. Now I do 2 in a row and it's much easier, even though still tiring.
    I have to agree with Tazzi. I surveyed all the nurses in my unit to see how they feel after 3 or 4 12+ days in a row. They all feel bad - young and old alike. I was relieved to find out that all of them had the same problem; I thought it was me. Literally, I run my butt off for my whole shift. I have to lift 350+ lbs of dead weight all the time with whatever help I can muster up. Yeah, I am tired after three 12's. On my workdays, I schedule NOTHING but work and sleep - and I mean nothing! On my first day off, it is my goal to not move! I have five 12s in a row coming up, and, believe it or not, I scheduled it that way. After that, I have 7 days off. I have worked four 12s in a row, many, many times.
  8. by   Tweety
    I don't think it's normal to feel that much pain. 12-hour shifts will whip even the best of us. I can only do two in a row. All I do is come home, cook, play on the computer and go to bed early. It takes a lot out of me.

    Obviously though if everyone felt as bad as you do 12-hour shifts wouldn't be so popular, because the move away from 8-hour shifts to 12-hour shifts is nurse-driven, meaning it's what most of us want. I feel a little beaten and battered, but I don't ache all over and feel as bad as you do. It does sound like you're doing pretty much everything you should be doing to keep yourself in shape. I definately echo the sentiments of the others: don't do 3 in a row.

    Good luck.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 25, '06
  9. by   lannisz
    I'm glad to hear it's not just me. We do have some nurses who have gone back to an 8 hr schedule, but they've been there a long time. I'm new to my unit and I don't want to ask for any special treatment. Plus, I admit, I'm afraid of looking like a whimp if I ask to do less time. I feel bad that I'm so beaten down by this schedule. I am doing 5 12's in a row starting tomorrow and I'm worried. (Because they overlap two pay periods, it's considered OK.) I could definitely use some good energy and thoughts beamed my way!

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