8hr vs 12hr shifts in ltc

  1. Where I work, and the general local area, all LTCs have gone to 12 hr shifts for nurses only, not CNAs. Most of us would like our 8s back, only a few like 12s. It wouldn't be so bad, but nights are working 4-5 nights/wk, day shift has 3 days only, occasionally 4. If call in on days, nights has to stay and cover. If call in on nights, well day shifters out the door and nights works short. In September '13, the overwhelming vote to go back to days was cast, and our DON and scheduler were good with it, ready to go. But admin and our corp guy said no, we will stay 12s, everyone LOVES it. Huh?!?!?! Anyway, corp guy wife is nurse manager at local hospital, she works days 8s (of course) but says everyone loves it there. Of course, they have float pool to handle call ins, and their average staff is younger, avg age 28. Our avg age is 41 here. We are trying to gather info and write a letter to asdmin, corp guy and possibly news outlets. I need thoughts, and if you have any evidence based studies, one way or the other, please bring them to my attention. Any comments appreciated. I know this is an old argument, but like other areas of nursing, LTC is a whole other animal. I want ideas.
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    About Hoosier_RN, BSN Pro

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 1,010; Likes: 72


  3. by   Hoosier_RN
    Forgot to add, when nights has to stay, its 16-20 hrs, doesn't matter if you have to come back that night, but they will adjust your return time.......
  4. by   TheCommuter
    I worked as a staff nurse in LTC for 6 years, from 2006 to 2012. Most of the LTC facilities in my area staff with 8-hour shifts (6 to 2pm, 2 to 10pm and 10 to 6am).

    One of my primary motivating factors for leaving LTC was the 8-hour shifts. I'm the type of person who prefers more days off. I like unstructured free time in my personal life, and I can better achieve this by working three 12-hour shifts per week and having four days off in a row. With the 8-hour shifts I had to see my coworkers, management, residents, and their unrealistic family members five days per week, which was too much for me to handle.

    Anyhow, management at your workplace possibly sees cost-savings with the 12-hour shifts since employees are at 0.9 FTE instead of the 1.0 FTE that comes with full-time 8-hour shifts. To persuade your managers / admin team to return to 8-hour shifts, have your ducks in a row and prepare an argument on how these hours will benefit the facility financially and otherwise. Follow the money trail.
  5. by   Hoosier_RN
    After I get an argument together, would anyone be willing to read it? Because here 0.9 and 1.0 would be basically equal, we get the same benefits as before, etc. With it being 24/7 care, you have same amt hrs to staff regardless. At noc, we are working 4-5 nights per week, so not getting there time off anyway, plus having to stay over to cover daysdhift call offs, up to 20 hr shift. Its crazy, but staffing ratio is good, pay excellent, private pay facility that is well stocked with supplies. Night shift is just exhausted to say the least! Day shift doesn't have to stay and cover for night call offs. We can't get the reason for that answered either
  6. by   Sam J.
    Twelve hour shifts are hellish, more so for nights. But I did a gig for a year at a place doing twelve hour nights on a simple 2-on, 4-off schedule, which was 'sweet', even if the shifts were not so sweet. Then, an accountant finally noticed we all were making 8 hours of overtime every 2 weeks, and they went back to 8 hours shifts to reduce the overtime pay.

    When I see people working 12's, and staying over for several hours, and working 4 or even 5 12's per week, I simply don't understand the financial numbers, in overtime, that represents.

    Are places not really paying OT for hours over 40 per week, nowadays??
  7. by   Hoosier_RN
    I (and Uncle Sam) make a boatload in OT. Of course, mgmt complains about it, even though it is scheduled, with the addage "we're trying to hire, be patient". I am too tired to spend it, and too tired to enjoy the days off that I do have. When people come in to apply, they usually leave before filling out app saying " if only it were 8 hrs......." LTC is stressful enough without being here 12 hrs
  8. by   Sam J.
    Why then do places uses 12's, when it appears to cost more $? I don't get it.
  9. by   Hoosier_RN
    I wish I had that magic answer, lol. But we are working on a proposal based on facts to attempt to get our work hours back
  10. by   Havin' A Party!
    How 'bout folks that are regularly scheduled for double-shifts (16 hours)?

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