12 hour shifts...dangerous? - page 2

by ThePrincessBride 14,394 Views | 65 Comments

This is a general question, but I was talking to a nurse and was shocked to find out that nurses can be forced to work four hours overtime on top of their twelve hour shifts for a total of sixteen hours. To her, she says this can... Read More


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    Also want to add that the reason I said PAID lunch break is b/c I see nurses ALL the time having their lunch break interrupted for patient care.

    To the person who says they get THREE 35 minute breaks, where do you work?
    Kandy83, joanna73, RNfaster, and 2 others like this.
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    As you can see, OP, state laws and individual employer policies regarding breaks and overtime vary considerably ... you'll need to find out what's applicable where you are.
    anotherone likes this.
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    I used to do 12s on the weekends. Loved it. I also don't mind 16s. When i have a day off I almost always pick up an additional shift and pull a 16 hours shift before my day off. Its a great way to pull in the overtime.
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    I would rather eat sand than go back to working 5 8 hour shifts in a row- just my opinion.
    From what I have seen, 16 hour shifts are rare. I did work once with a unit secretary who did 16s on the weekends, but never nurses.
    The doctors work far longer hours than we do with no guarantees about when they eat. My brother came home for Christmas on his intern year weighing 125lbs on a 5' 10" frame. In comparision, nurses have it pretty good.
    The trouble with lunch coverage is that someone is "babysitting" your patients in addition to taking care of their own. A lot can happen in an hour when you are watching 4-12 patients.
    It is not like you can go anywhere for lunch anyway. I would rather just take my 30 minutes.
    Kandy83, Orange Tree, KbmRN, and 4 others like this.
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    RN Per diem - I agree about your statement about doctors, but do remember the key information there being that your brother was in his "intern year." Residents definitely have it worse than nurses - but they aren't finished with their training. Once doctors, they can take breaks whenever they want. Nurses never move up to that sort of freedom.
    Kandy83 likes this.
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    I love 12 hs shifts they were a strong selling point for why I went into nursing. Three days and I'm done for the week where else can you get that? Think about it, 8 hs in the work place and your day is used up anyway you go home watch a little TV and go to bed so why not spend it all at work and then have all the free time later?
    sharpeimom, joanna73, PMFB-RN, and 2 others like this.
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    I have worked both 8, 12 and 16 hour shifts. Currently, I work 6 12 hour shifts and have 8 days off. It isn't easy but you do what you have to do. While we are entitled to a 30 minute lunch break, often it doesn't happen. It is all part of nursing.
    anotherone likes this.
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    If I went to 8's I'd probably stay an extra 2 hours trying to get everything done that I felt needed to be done. I've never staffed before, but I'd think it would make staffing that much more difficult.

    I work 12's on days. I rarely get a real lunch break, but I suppose between sitting for 5 minute periods of time and kvetching about work/nonwork things, and going into the break room and standing over top the table eating for 5 minutes at a time, I probably get 30-45 minutes of me time. If there is a day that I absolutely do not get to sit down or do anything but work, I mark "no lunch." If I wanted to not get paid to work, I'd go back to law.

    You know what's hazardous to your health? Night shift. Eliminate it.
    SummitRN and barbyann like this.
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    I have worked 16 hours in an operating room from 7:00am through to 11:00 with one 30 minute lunch break at 11:30am. There is no doubt in my mind that I was unsafe. I prayed that nothing went wrong with the patient because I was operating on auto-pilot. If course, you could argue that if the patient had crashed, then adrenaline would have kicked in and I would have sprung into action but who knows what would have happened. My prayers were answered and the operation went smoothly but I was literally praying nothing went wrong that night. Even though I got through that day, I was still hung-over from it and not at my best the next day (I was back in at 7:00am the next day) so you could say that those patients were compromised also. Once this became a regular deal I actually left the job. Somebody was going to get hurt and I didn't want it on my conscience.
    silenced, echoRNC711, joanna73, and 1 other like this.
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    I am shocked that you are shocked! Are you a nurse,op? I will never willingly go to 8s or 10s. I prefer 12s and can do that fine. But at the end of the (in actuallity) 13hr i want to go! I have been mandated to 16 hours many times. Going from 7pm to 11am with 1/2 hr break. our breaks are 30 mins for 12hrs. mandated to stay from 7pm to 11am is a lot worse than 7am to 11pm (have done both). I am so exhausted by the end of the typical night shift,only to now be forced to stay and muster up the energy for the busiest time of the day. then there arent times for a break some times since i now have 8am meds and sugars and baths. than the discharges start....


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