12 hour shifts?

  1. I notice a lot of people on here work 12 hour shifts. Do most hospitals only have that? I know the one I gave birth at they had nurses for 7-3, 3-11, 11-7. Just wondering if all hospitals have 8 hour shifts. Thanks!!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   RN4NICU
    Not all hospitals have the same shifts available. In fact, the shifts available will vary from unit to unit. Many units seem to have done away with 8-hr shifts. Others still have many shifts available. My unit, for example, has 4, 6, 8, and 12 hour shifts available, but the rest of the hospital has only 12-hour shifts available. The OR I used to work in offered 10 hour shifts. So it really all depends on where you work.
  4. by   Daytonite
    For years the nurses in acute hospitals had 8-hour work shifts. Then in the 80's and 90's there was a little rebellion that went on. First, the ICU, CCU and ER nurses wanted 12-hour shifts so they could have one or two extra days off work a week. Many hospitals granted this because there was a real shortage of these acute care nurses. As other nurses in the hospitals began to see the advantage of this, they started asking for 12-hour shifts too. And, so the 12-hour shift has emerged in many different forms.

    I have to tell you that this 12-hour shift business is being studied and analyzed. Not all nurses like it. On the days you work you basically work and sleep with not much time left for much else. And, there seems to be some evidence that people get pretty tired before their 12-hours are up and some errors are being made in their work. Right now medication errors, in particular, are being tracked very closely by the FDA and Medicare. If they find that working 12-hour shifts is significantly contributing to errors in care, there will be recommendations to switch back to the traditional 8-hour shifts.

    Some hospitals still have 8-hour shifts. Some have a combination of 8 and 12-hour shifts available. With the way the nurse shortage is going, a nurse can pretty much ask for what they want when they go in looking for a job.
  5. by   RNsRWe
    Hospitals in my area offer the traditional 8's as well as 12's, in every unit. As for what nurses like to work, nurses prefer whatever shift they work...that's why they work them!

    And as for medication errors, a study was done at my hospital, and there were no greater percentages of errors for the 12 hour shifts than the 8 hour ones. Actually, the very slight difference was in FAVOR of the 12 hour shifts: something about more actual days spent at work (less time off) contributing to a very slightly higher rate of errors. I'm quite sure that the people who work 8 hour shifts (and are used to that) are quite tired at the end of their shifts. And those who work 12's (and are used to that) are also tired, but not so much moreso than the others. At least, that's how it is for me: I've worked 8's and 12's, and when I did 8's I was tired at the end, and now on 12's, just the same tired. Only now, I have four days off to get UNtired

    Don't know how accurate the error assessment is either way, frankly, but I wouldn't look to 12 hour shifts as Medication Error Central.
    Last edit by RNsRWe on May 27, '07
  6. by   LadyEJ BSN, RN
    I sure hope to work 12 hour shifts when I become a nurse. It was very appealing to me when researching careers.
  7. by   angelinab
    Where I work, there are 4, 8, and 12 hr shifts. I personally like 12hr shifts, or 2 8's and 2 12's are nice. I have to drive about 45min to and from work, so I like going in and working the most I am able, especially with the gas prices today!
  8. by   TheCommuter
    I work full-time weekends (16 hours on Saturday and 16 hours on Sunday). I'm paid for a 40 hour week, and have Monday through Friday off unless I choose to work overtime shifts during the week. I'll quickly admit that I become exhausted on Sunday evenings, but I've found that it is worth it to have the 5 days off in a row.
  9. by   WDWpixieRN
    Wow!! 16-hour shifts....5 days off!! That's something new to me!! When do you sleep?!?!

    I am working in an ER on an internship and they have shifts all over the map with a lot of overlapping....I am working 12-hour shifts with my preceptor and let me tell you, after a long weekend, you ARE tired near the end of your shifts....and there isn't much time for anything in between but sleep....but I'm hoping I'll get a bit more used to it as I so like long stretches of time off!!

    Scheduling flexibility was definitely a big plus in choosing this career!!
  10. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from wdwpixie
    Wow!! 16-hour shifts....5 days off!! That's something new to me!! When do you sleep?!?!
    I usually get about 5 to 6 hours of sleep between shifts. However, I am only sleep-deprived for 1 night out of the entire week.

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