What do you think of 12 hour shifts - page 4

So many people are envious of nurses working 12 hours shifts and having 3 to 4 days off but I truly dislike this shift. I work nights and often only get 1 or 2 days off in a row. That often results... Read More

  1. by   Kamilah_Coney_SN
    I used to work three 12-hour nights (Thurs, Saturday and Sunday) but now I only working two 12-hour nights a week (Friday and Sunday). This is just until I graduate and pass the state board exam. After that I will, hopefully, be working three back-to-back 12-hour days. Oh how I miss working days!!!
  2. by   Cat365
    I like night and I like 12s, but my nights run 3pm-3:30 am. I live an hour away so I'm in bed by 5 am an up at 1pm. My days are also consecutive. I hate splitting them up because I feel like on my first day off I can't get anything done until after 5 pm then a lot is closing. Most nurses I work with prefer 2-3 days in a row (Some like 2 on 1 off then the third because they feel like poop on the third day). I wouldn't work 5 eight hour night shifts (days would be different). I wouldn't get anything done except work.

    PS If I could persuade the rest of the world to be operational at night I'd be happy with 5 night shifts.
  3. by   itsybitsy
    Best thing since sliced bread. However, I do work days.

    Honestly, I'd rather work two 18 hour days. THAT would be the life!
  4. by   gpsrn
    I use to work 12 hour nights. They were killers until I got use to them. It took 2-3 months to get used to them. Then they were okay.
  5. by   anewsns
    It's not you, it's probably NOCs. I understand about switching from 8's to 12's though. For me it used to be work and life on the same day. Now it's work on some days, life on other days.
  6. by   purplegal
    I have been working 12 hour days for about a month now. When we are fully staffed, they haven't been too bad; they've actually allowed for some "down time" so I don't have to stay as late at the end of my shift to finish charting (for example, I can do some charting when residents are eating or when they are taking afternoon naps). However, when we are short-staffed, I don't always get that downtime because I either have an increased patient load, and/or need to help out the aide because the job is nearly impossible for one aide to do alone without the help of the nurse. My busy weeks, when I work 5 shifts (Monday and Tuesday, and then Friday through Sunday), do get long, but I also have 9 days off after that without using PTO. Then I work Wednesday and Thursday, and have 3 days off. Then it's back to my busy week. Doesn't seem to work too bad, but I'm not married and I don't have any children either.
  7. by   scooterscamp123
    Stacking shifts is key, like working a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, having off Sunday night, then a Monday, Tuesday and either Wednesday or Thursday (if you can tolerate working 3 in a row). It's tough but it will allow you to be a functional human on your days off. I feel your pain though. I'm trying to transition to days to improve my mental and physical health. You could try talking to your manager or scheduler too and give them your preferences on how you want to be scheduled. Hope everything works out!
  8. by   FolksBtrippin
    Liked them as a tech who watched monitors. Hate them as a nurse. I much prefer 8s. Presently I do both, but that will end when one of the units I work on goes to 12s. I would even rather do 16s. Because I am just as useless after a 12 hour shift as I am after 16 hrs.
  9. by   KarenMS
    Quote from NurseSpeedy
    12's when I was single were great. 12's married became a challenge. 12's with a family stink.

    Childcare takes an act of congress. The day before I spend cooking for however many shifts I have to work in a row in advance. Plate out all the food. Pack all the lunches (I live 1 hour away). I also need to do all the food shopping.

    Then there's the laundry and the cleaning. Gymnastics lessons. Homework. Working out can only be done on days off and if I don't I'm sore and go from slim to sloppy looking easily. Then I'm a zombie because I chose the gym over sleep.

    Have the rest of the world work 12 hour shifts long term and see how envious they are then. I worked 8's. I loved 8's. I'd still be working full time if I had the 8 hour option.
    Can I ask why you have to plate out all the food in advance???
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    I hated 12s with a pink and purple passion. I did OK for the first 8 or 9 hours, but then I'd hit a wall at around 10 hours and barely make it through the rest of the shift. I felt really unsafe and I always breathed a sigh of relief when the shift was over. I did much better with 8s, even if I did have to work more nights of the week. Luckily my hospital was still flexible about schedules back then and they let me go to 11P-7A shifts. Best move I ever made.
  11. by   NurseSpeedy
    I absolutely hated working nights, even if it wasn't nursing. I couldn't flip-flop my sleep schedule around to enjoy my time off during daylight hours so I just stayed nocturnal.

    This was back in 2000, so as you can imagine the electronic options of entertainment were, well, nonexistent compared to today. I got to see the really creepy side of WalMart (the only store open at 3am). I had to walk around in the dark quietly because everyone else at home had normal daytime jobs. It was the night (or early morning) that I found myself staring at the TV watching debt collection commercials and switching the channel only to find myself watching BLUES CLUES of all things to pass the time at 4am....I needed to get a dayshift job quick, and put in for the switch that day.

    Sometimes the chaos of days is worth it, even with the decrease in pay, but 12 hours either way drives me bananas...just minus BLUES CLUES now.
  12. by   RNattie
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    I personally like 12 hour shifts. 12 hour night shifts present a different challenge. We used to call that first day off a "fake day off" as you basically slept through the whole day. The trick of working nights (I think) is to lump all your work days together so you are not constantly rearranging your sleep cycle as that makes it fell like you have no days off at all
    This really would be the perfect solution and my current job allows you to self schedule. I often place my schedule so that I am able to lump my days off together but I never get the schedule I ask for. When I approached my boss about this, I was told he had to make changes based on the needs of the unit. However, I've noticed my other co-workers seem to get the schedule they ask for.
  13. by   RNattie
    Quote from scooterscamp123
    Stacking shifts is key, like working a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, having off Sunday night, then a Monday, Tuesday and either Wednesday or Thursday (if you can tolerate working 3 in a row). It's tough but it will allow you to be a functional human on your days off. I feel your pain though. I'm trying to transition to days to improve my mental and physical health. You could try talking to your manager or scheduler too and give them your preferences on how you want to be scheduled. Hope everything works out!
    Unfortunately, I have tried to stack my days together but my manager won't allow it, claiming he needs to change my schedule based on "the needs of the unit."

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