Pros...."Quality of Life?"

  1. I am looking at nursing as a 2nd career (imagine that) and had a question concerning quality of work life...


    1- On a typical 12hr work shift, how many breaks do you get?
    (i'm a 6.3' and need to eat a few times a day. I can do a protein shake and i'm good to go)

    2- Do you get a lunch break?

    3- Do you ever feel that you are neglecting your own bodies physical needs because of the 12 hr work-day schedule?

    4- I also heard that there is a such thing as an "8 hr shift"....is this true?



    thanks very much for your constructive input!
    Last edit by TonyFl on Nov 25, '07
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   ready4crna?
    Tony-

    It all depends on the type of nursing you do and patient needs on any particular day.- Your questions may be answered yes on one day, and no the next- In this business your patients come first.
    You can find 8 hr shifts, but a vast amount of acute care is delivered on the 12hr schedule.
  4. by   TazziRN
    In theory you come first, because if you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of your patients. In reality, it's the other way around. You have to take care of your patients first, because they depend on you. You can probably down a shake most of the time no matter how busy you are, but there will be times when you will not be able to eat for hours, or even go to the bathroom.
  5. by   Conrad283
    Quote from TonyFl
    I am looking at nursing as a 2nd career (imagine that) and had a question concerning quality of work life...


    1- On a typical 12hr work shift, how many breaks do you get?
    (i'm a 6.3' and need to eat a few times a day. I can do a protein shake and i'm good to go)
    You can take a few breaks. As long as your work is done, you can sit for a few minutes and have a shake.

    2- Do you get a lunch break?
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If it's really busy you make only have 5 minutes to wolf something down. Doesn't happen often, but sometimes it does.

    3- Do you ever feel that you are neglecting your own bodies physical needs because of the 12 hr work-day schedule?
    You may be deprived a little sleep (especially if you work nights). Also, your eating habits may change a little bit. Eating dinner once you get home at 8-8:30 isn't the greatest time to eat.

    4- I also heard that there is a such thing as an "8 hr shift"....is this true?
    There are 8 hour shift areas. It depends on the facility. However, if you were to work 8hr shifts full time you have to work 5 days a week.
  6. by   RainDreamer
    Quote from TonyFl
    I am looking at nursing as a 2nd career (imagine that) and had a question concerning quality of work life...


    1- On a typical 12hr work shift, how many breaks do you get?
    (i'm a 6.3' and need to eat a few times a day. I can do a protein shake and i'm good to go)

    2- Do you get a lunch break?

    3- Do you ever feel that you are neglecting your own bodies physical needs because of the 12 hr work-day schedule?

    4- I also heard that there is a such thing as an "8 hr shift"....is this true?



    thanks very much for your constructive input!
    1. We usually get a break and a lunch break. Before lunch we usually take a break which is anywhere from 15-30 minutes ..... just kinda depends on how busy you are, if it's a slower night we'll usually take up to 30 minutes. Or some people just take a couple 10 minute breaks, one before lunch and one afterwards. We're all pretty flexible.

    2. Yes, we take an hour lunch break. There are some nights where we're absolutely swamped and can only get a 30 minute lunch or so, but that's rare ...... I've been at this place for a year and a half and can count on one hand the number of times I haven't gotten a full 1 hour lunch break.

    3. No. The only time I ever feel somewhat tired/exhausted is after working 3 nights in a row. After that 3rd shift I'm usually pretty tired and need some time to recover, but then I get 4 days off afterwards, so it all evens out. But during my 12 hour shifts, no, I never feel like I'm neglecting my body's needs. I've heard of nurses that run all shift long, barely getting a bathroom break and all I can say is I'll NEVER do that. Sure there are some nights where it's busy and exhausting and I have to make time so I can run to the bathroom or get a quick snack ..... but if that was the norm, then I'd be outta there.

    4. Yes, some nursing jobs have 8 hour shifts. Most of those you'd find in a non-hospital setting, but some units have 8 hour shifts (i.e. OR, ER. etc) and some hospitals offer 8 hour shifts in most of their units. For me, I love my 12 hour shifts, as it enables me to have 4 days off.
  7. by   Tweety
    1- On a typical 12hr work shift, how many breaks do you get?
    (i'm a 6.3' and need to eat a few times a day. I can do a protein shake and i'm good to go) - usually just the one lunch break, and others depending on the day and the assignment. I would eat a snack in the morning and in the evening on the go, while charting usually.

    2- Do you get a lunch break? Absolutely, it's a priority in my day the same as patient care. There have been only a few times I didn't get a lunch. Mind you, it's hit or miss what time it is and how long I get, but 99.999999% I get a lunch.

    3- Do you ever feel that you are neglecting your own bodies physical needs because of the 12 hr work-day schedule? No because on the four days off I worked out. I also made sure I got plenty of sleep.

    4- I also heard that there is a such thing as an "8 hr shift"....is this true? Several units in my hospital are mandatesd 12-hour shifts, and a few allow 8-hours. 12-hours is more the norm. I work 8 hour shifts myself as a charge nurse, it's just easier for our manager this way. MY units is one of the one's that allow for 8's or 12's. Many moms with kids need to work 8-hour shifts to be there when they get home from school.
  8. by   Shantas
    In our hospital we get one 30 min lunch break and two 15 min coffee break for a 12 hour shift.
    Most of the time we get our lunch break because we have a pretty good charge nurse who makes sure we take our lunch break and also if we dont, we can claim overtime provided we have a genuine reason and we get approval from our supervisor.
    I usually dont take the 15 breaks becuz my goal is to leave the hospital by 1930!! So I make sure I finish all my work before the on coming shift comes to the unit....I do try to go to the back room and try to sneak an apple or breakfast bar in the evening while I am closing my chart.
    We also have 8 hours shift in our hospital. Our hospital has unions so rulse are pretty good.
  9. by   GadgetRN71
    Depends where you work. The nice thing about the Operating Room is that 98% of the time you get a 1/2 hour lunch and a 15 minute break in an 8 hour shift. We also have 8 hour shifts!(which is what I work-5 8 hour shifts a week) Actually, you are expected to take your breaks-if you don't, the PTB get on your case-no one respects a martyr.

    Also nice that you don't have to work every other weekend. We do usually 1 weekend call about every 5 to 6 weeks and work one major and one minor holiday a year. This year, I had Thanksgiving off and I have Christmas off as well. I'm doing an 8 hour 11pm to 7am call on New Years's Eve, which doesn't bother me-I'm not a big drinker!
  10. by   Fiona59
    Man, oh man, Our 12 hour shift people get 3 (yes 3) 45 minute breaks over the course of the day. And they take them, probably 90% of the time. The RN contract is slightly different from the LPN contract and the RN breaks are slightly shorter.

    We have 8 hour shifts (well 7.75 hours for the precise). Depending on the line of your position you might work 6 straight be off for four, and then on for three. The schedule is worked over a 12 or 6 week rotation and was created to fill unit needs.

    Both shifts are required to work every other weekend.

    Some people are just physically not built to work 12 hour shifts, heart conditions, diabetes, and pregnancies have resulted in people going to 8s.
  11. by   leslie :-D
    heck, i know many nurses who have a better quality of life than most.
    they take their required breaks, as well as lunch, snack, smoke, pee and piddle around-breaks: and are totally oblivious to pts and their immediate environment.
    don't we all know at least 1 of those???

    leslie
  12. by   TonyFl
    Thanks for the post....please keep them coming!
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    Yep - 1/2 hour lunch and two 15 minutes breaks.

    The nice thing about nursing is there are so many choices.

    If you don't want to work weekends, nights or holidays . . . you can work at free-standing surgery centers. Or you can work just weekends. Or nights. In all different kinds of nursing.

    steph

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