8 hr shifts vs. 12 hr shift - page 2

How do the rest of you med surg nurses feel about having 8 or 12 hour shifts? I was reading in a nursing magazine that its tough to work a 12 hour shift on med surg because its exhausting. While... Read More

  1. by   slou!
    Are the majority of the shifts out there 12 hour shifts? Or 8's? I have not experienced any nursing shifts so I don't know what I would like better (I'm a pre-nursing student), but I can imagine for me the 12 hour shifts would be better. I had to do 12 (or more :smackingf) hour shifts a lot where I worked, and I didn't mind them much at all. It was also not a nursing job (a crappy retail job, with really bad management and a lot of call outs, hence the reason I worked a lot of 12+ hour shifts!). I didn't mind staying late after an 8 hour shift, but hated coming in on my days off and working 6-7 days a week! I would rather do it all in as little days as possible!

    Are the 12 hour shifts harder to get than the 8 hour shifts? What about the night shifts, are they easier to get? I am a night person and I think I would rather 12 hour night shifts..
    Sorry everytime I post I always have so many questions! Good thing I have 4 years until I worry about all this
  2. by   exnavygirl-RN
    I work Ortho, also. After three 12 hour shifts I'm dragging but the 4 days off is totally worth it!



    Quote from RN2B07
    Prior to nsg, I never worked more than 8 hr shifts. I was a little nervous at first, but they arent as bad as I had imagined. I love them and couldnt imagine going back to 8 hrs. Ironically 8 hr shifts seemed to drag more than 12. But I am not gonna lie, I work on a very bust M/S ortho floor and am pretty beat when I come home. But 4 days off makes up for it.
  3. by   jo272wv
    I love my 12 hour shifts, not only does it give you 4 days off a week but you can also pick up an additional shift here and there for the overtime. I am tired after a shift but look at it this way, if you work 8 hours 5 days a week you still have to go home and clean, cook, run around which is tiresome also. This way you work and sleep three, run and clean 4... isnt life grand/
  4. by   Tweety
    Another one who loves 12-hour shifts. It's exhausting for sure, but so are 8-hour shifts. I enjoy having four days off a week, which leaves me time for a life and to go to school.
  5. by   RNKITTY04
    I also love 12 hour shifts BUT I found I personally can not work more than 2 in a row or I start to get grouchy and burned out. I am lucky to work at a facility that allows me to self schedule. My co-workers sometimes make fun of me (calling me a wuss) but 3 in a row is just too much for my little brain to handle. I will NEVER work 8's again, even if it means no nights or holidays, its just not worth it to me.
  6. by   DolphinRN84
    I prefer working 12 hours as well. Though I just started orientation, my schedule will vary, like this week I'm working 2 twelve's and 2 eight's...and then next week I'm working 5 eights I think....personally I couldn't stand working 5 8's in a row. Rather have more days off.
  7. by   JoAnna McNurse
    The only problem is that I NEVER get out of that stupid hospital EVEN when I'm on a 12 Hour shift. I hate it.
  8. by   DolphinRN84
    Quote from JoAnne2005
    The only problem is that I NEVER get out of that stupid hospital EVEN when I'm on a 12 Hour shift. I hate it.

    Yeah I know what you mean...:uhoh21:
  9. by   AmethystinAZ
    Our new DON wants ALL 12 hour shifts-that means the eve shift is now overnites- I would think that working overnite can screw up your life- we are trying to fight it.(the day shift is full.)..... Anyone against 12 hours? Most of us are over 40, If I wanted to work nites, that should be my choice- anyone in a facility that fought it and won/lost? Thanks
  10. by   clemmm78
    I guess I'm alone in the crowd. I dont' like 12 hrs and I avoid them like the plague. I can't work 12 hr nights because I just can't go that long without sleep. For my 8 hr nights, I nap from 7 to 10 before coming in. 12 hr days aren't so bad, but they stink (for me) for family life. I would hate to leave before the kids (now teens) get up, come home, have enough energy to eat and then go to bed, knowing I had to do the whole thing all over again.

    I don't think it's an age thing. I'm 45, but I've always felt this way. I don't think, for me, that the extra days off during the week would make up for how tired 12 hr shifts make me.

    The only exception I might have made in the past was to work weekends only, but as far as I know in Canada, at least in Quebec, that option isn't available (work X number of weekends but get paid for more).
  11. by   wjf00
    I work 8 hour shifts and would never go back to 12 hour shifts. Fact is I still work a lot of 12 hour shifts, only now I get OT when I work the last 4 hours. In California, OT is required after 8 hours. Nurses can waive the right to OT in order to work 12's. I refuse to waive my rights. The reality of the nursing shortage almost guarantees me 12 hour shifts whenever I want them, so why should I give up the OT.
  12. by   youngatheart
    I have been working 12 hour nights 7p-7a for about 5 months now. I am always exhausted, it's nice having an extra day off but I use it catching up on my sleep. I wish my hospital offered 8 hour shifts, 12 hours is exhausting at night, but this was the only shift open at the time, I am a new grad so I thought working nights would work for awhile to get my organizational skills down and it has but I think I am now ready for days. However I am going to miss the $4.00 an hour differential at night for doing the same work and maybe even more busier with admits and discharges.
  13. by   DoniaRN
    i work 12's and started them right after i passed boards...i like them in the fact that i am not at work every day...but i am exhausted at the end of my shift...

    how do you all get your sleep "if you are working nights"..i work 7p-7a...i sometimes use benedryl only on the days i work, or melatonin...my doc will not give me a sleeping pill...how do you all conquer it

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