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- Aug 27, '12 by marycarneyQuote from HouTxAmen and amen. I am 57 years old, love my PICU job, but honestly 12 hour shifts are driving experienced nurses away from bedside nursing. My thought is this: when I work 12 hours, ALL I have time for is commuting, sleeping, a shower and going back to work. On an eight hour schedule - I could still go to the dentist or grocery shop, or eat dinner with my family or HAVE A LIFE!I am very sympathetic to the OP's situation... I am hearing an increasing number of nurses who voice the same complaint - 12 hour shifts are too mentally and physically exhausting. But, when I talk with nurse executives, they tell me that their staffs prefer 12-hour shifts. There seems to be a real disconnect here.
In addition to the good advice provided by PPs, I would encourage you to make sure that your nurse leaders understand your feelings that the workload is just too intense to withstand for 12 hours at a time. They have the power to make changes. There is really no need to force everyone to work 12 hours. Progressive hospitals are introducing a variety of shorter shifts (4 hr, 6 hr, 8 hr) to attract and retain valuable nursing staff.
Make yourself heard!
When will administration and management get a clue at what 'all 12s and only 12s' is doing to nurses?
- Aug 27, '12 by bubblejet50Do all your departments run 12s? I know here psych is only 8s. A lot of people do not like psych but more and more facilities are accepting more acute medical cares in the psych floor.
- Aug 27, '12 by CorazonDeOroI was/am feeling the same way. I have been an RN on a surgical unit for just over a year (and an extern on the unit for a year before that). I am completely burnt out. I work 3 12's but my manager likes to make me work days with random 11a-11p shifts thrown in (with no rhyme or reason to when they are). I love having 4 days off a week but I spend most of them exhausted. I decided to apply for a job I thought I had no chance at getting (my hospitals gastroenterology/endoscopy clinic (inpatient and outpatient). They prefer ICU nurses but picked me over some of them. Its Mon-Fri 10-7. Weekends off/holidays (except call on the occasional weekend). I think this is just the change of pace I was looking for. More focused. I told the manager in my interview that being pulled in a million directions by 5 or 6 patients at a time was becoming too overwhelming. I suggest looking into different areas that have more flexible shifts or a better pace. There are lots of opportunities out there, even with only 1 year experience I got calls from all sorts of jobs (outpatient surgery centers, pain clinics, ER, etc).
- Aug 27, '12 by wish_me_luckI think part of the problem is some or most nurses liking 12s, then you have like a quarter or third of nurses who want 8s. Well, that becomes an issue when you have to schedule people. If you have a bunch of nurses who want 12s, where do you put that person who wants 8s? It seems like it is an all our nothing thing. Either everyone does 12s or everyone does 8s. I think it's something that needs to be brought up in a staff meeting and maybe management can get everyone's opinion and go from there.
- Aug 27, '12 by Ruby VeeIt sounds like you're a bit crispy. Take a vacation if you can. Changing shifts might help. Or starting a new hobby that has nothing to do with nursing. Exercise may help. Or journalling. Good luck!
- Aug 28, '12 by marycarneyQuote from wish_me_luckI've worked units where 12s and 8s co-exist. It takes the scheduler a little longer to make the schedule BUT it worked. Here was the nice thing - there were a couple of unfilled four hour slots every week which translated into short, manageable OT hours for those who wanted OT but didn't want an entire extra 12 hour shift. Our PRN people were WAY more likely to pick up as it did not require committing to giving up and entire day as a 12 hour shift would. I loved it and wish I could work in that system (but not that hospital) again.I think part of the problem is some or most nurses liking 12s, then you have like a quarter or third of nurses who want 8s. Well, that becomes an issue when you have to schedule people. If you have a bunch of nurses who want 12s, where do you put that person who wants 8s? It seems like it is an all our nothing thing. Either everyone does 12s or everyone does 8s. I think it's something that needs to be brought up in a staff meeting and maybe management can get everyone's opinion and go from there.