What do you think of 12 hour shifts

  1. 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 in me sleeping through the first day and running around completing errands on my second day. I have no balance in my life and feel like the job is consuming me. Previously to becoming a nurse, I worked 8 hour shifts and found I had a more balance life: work, family, friends. Does anyone else feel the same way about 12 hour shifts? What are your opinions on 12 hour shifts?
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  2. 84 Comments

  3. by   Atl-Murse
    You are off 4 days a week. Its not the job, its you.
  4. by   blondy2061h
    Quote from Atl-Murse
    You are off 4 days a week. Its not the job, its you.
    I disagree. Nights are fine if you're able to get your shifts in a row, but if you're on every other night it can quickly become all consuming because you truly are there some of every day. You get back Tuesday morning and have to sleep, leaving Tuesday ruined and then need to be back Wednesday night, leaving Wednesday ruined.
  5. by   RNattie
    You get back Tuesday morning and have to sleep, leaving Tuesday ruined and then need to be back Wednesday night, leaving Wednesday ruined.


    I definitely feel this way!
  6. by   MunoRN
    If the problem is you're not getting enough nights off, I'm not sure why it would help to work 8's instead and get even fewer nights off.
  7. by   Lil Nel
    Are you able to self-schedule?

    I work nights too, and honestly, I hate working three 12s in a row. By night number three, I am a zombie. It is just a difficult shift, no matter how you slice it.

    But no, YOU aren't the problem. It is the nature of shift work that is the problem!
  8. by   Crush
    I hear ya. I work all shifts and sometimes work 2 shifts within a week. ( no I don't have a choice ) I work a combo of 8 and 12 hour shifts so there is both a benefit to 12's and a burden as well. I love the extra time/days off when doing 12's but sometimes feel I have more time to get ready by working 8's. There are things to love about both though. Nights I prefer it to be 8 hour shifts cause there is nothing like a little extra sleep if possible.
  9. by   meanmaryjean
    Exclusive 12-hour shifts (with no other option) is partially what drives experienced nurses from the bedside.
  10. by   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.
  11. by   Castiela
    I still like 12hrs but my shifts are 2 days, 2 nights then 4-5 off. However, I don't have kids.
  12. by   tara07733
    Quote from Atl-Murse
    You are off 4 days a week. Its not the job, its you.
    Really?!!?
  13. by   amoLucia
    OP - you're dealing with the double whammy of 12 hours shifts AND working NOCs. The NOC shift ALONE can do you in, even with 8 hour shifts. As many years as I did 11-7, that first night off was always a transitional, screwy sleep day. A lot of night shift staff will tell you the same.

    Don't know what jpb you did BEFORE nsg, but nsg is a physically, emotionally and mentally draining job. It can takes its toll on anyone, even those who had no problems with the hours before.
  14. by   labrat2nurse
    I used to hate them, now I like them. I had a hard time being on the go for 12 hours, but once I learn to pace myself, I was able to do it easier. Now I appreciate the time off during the week. Great for getting errands done with little traffic around!

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