12 hour shifts...dangerous? - page 5

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... Read More

  1. Visit  anotherone profile page
    1
    Quote from ThePrincessBride
    I've worked twelve hours. I can do day shift (easy peasy), but I cannot do a twelve hour night shift. It is too brutal for me. But I could not do a sixteen hour shift and the thought of being forced to work four extra hours makes me cringe.
    12 hour nights is a breeze for me. I HATE staying but have done it. i would quit if forced to do five 8s or four 10s. one of the biggest reasons i went into nursing was for three 12s
    sharonp30 likes this.
  2. Visit  anotherone profile page
    0
    Frankly the 30 hours of work and call of the residents worries me maybe more than a nurse doing 16. some services you can sleep all of your call hours but not many of them. in seeing consults all night than to the OR in the a.m..... To those that have never been forced to stay thats great! not like that everywhere.
  3. Visit  sharonp30 profile page
    0
    As someone who is going to be entering this field, I am interested to know if the more experienced nurses feel that if the charge nurse, or nurse supervisor, etc. stepped up, would you be able to take breaks and or lunch? Or is it a case of everyone just being stretched too thin? Is this better in a Not For Profit, or is it worse? Just some things that I wonder about. Thanks everyone.
  4. Visit  tinyonern profile page
    0
    I worked both eights and twelves. I HATED the twelves. It made family life very difficult, esp. when my husband had travel. Then there were the holidays...which on twelves I totally missed. As I got older, the twelves were just too taxing, esp. in the intensive care unit.
  5. Visit  tinyonern profile page
    0
    I worked 10 hr shifts. It was great!! There were two 10s and a 5 hr pm shift in a day. It allowed for shift meetings, staff education, and also extra help during visiting hrs and dinner. The 5 hr shift never had a problem with staffing because the hospital paid for 40 hrs, even though only working 25. Was great for students.
  6. Visit  Russ1166 profile page
    1
    I work 12.5 hr shifts on a busy Tele floor. It can be brutal or a walk in the park. It truly depends on the patient acuity on that particular day. I have done 4 hours additional on my shift, only when I have patients that are pretty stable and are ready for discharge the next day. 12.5 hours are the best, 3 days on and 4 off. BTW, I am not a young new nurse, I am a middle aged new nurse. I have the drive and the aches and pains afterwards as well. LOL
    anotherone likes this.
  7. Visit  K+MgSO4 profile page
    0
    Quote from sharonp30
    As someone who is going to be entering this field, I am interested to know if the more experienced nurses feel that if the charge nurse, or nurse supervisor, etc. stepped up, would you be able to take breaks and or lunch? Or is it a case of everyone just being stretched too thin? Is this better in a Not For Profit, or is it worse? Just some things that I wonder about. Thanks everyone.
    I have 6 nurses working and I am charge. We work a buddy system 3 teams of 2. So nurse 1 goes to tea and nurse 2 covers her bells. Swap over 30 min later. I could not physically cover 6 tea breaks. That's 3 hours of my day. As charge I have a different role. I am a resource, discharge co ordinator after 5 pm ward clerk organising admissions, if someone is confused suddenly I am usually trying to organize a behavioral nurse and watching them myself if I can't get one.

    I certainly will cover someones break if their buddy and themselves are flat out.

    Mind you I work in Australia in a very pro union hospital. Look up Australia nursing federation Victoria branch to see what we did at the beginning of the year
  8. Visit  wooh profile page
    1
    Quote from PMFB-RN


    *** I see they failed to take into account the errors that will result from the exoudous of the most experienced and skilled nurses from the bedside if you take away one of our primary benifits.

    Usually the "12 hour shifts are unsafe!" studies also fail to take into account that shorter shifts mean more errors caused by miscommunications during more frequent handoffs.
    PMFB-RN likes this.
  9. Visit  NurseKrieger profile page
    1
    From what I've read, 12s aren't bad if in moderation. Such as 3 on 3 off, 2 on 2 off, etc. But I believe when nurses attempt to self schedule 5 12s in a row to get a week off, it becomes dangerous and should be limited.

    I also believe that if facilities were to make a total shift to 8s the kinks (reporting off, clustering care, etc) could be worked out with practice.
    redhead_NURSE98! likes this.
  10. Visit  monkeybug profile page
    0
    When I worked in a hospital, I worked a combination of 8s and 12s. I had a love hate relationship with the 12s. On one hand they decreased the number of days I had to enter hell, on the other hand the day I worked 12, work was all I could do. By the time I got home, it was almost my child's bedtime, it was too late to spend time with him or cook supper or have any quality time with family. Whether I worked 8 or 12, I rarely got lunch or breaks at all. I would get paid for the missed lunch (although interestingly, our manager would not allow us to key "no lunch" into the time clock, because then HR became aware of it. Instead we hand wrote it on a list on the wall, so no one above her was privy to the fact that many days NO nurse got lunch), but that didn't make my low blood sugar headache go away. I rarely got to go pee until the end of the shift. On top of all of that, we had mandatory call 2 or 3 times a pattern. If you worked an 8, it was 4 hours before the shift and 4 hours after. If you worked 12, it was 4 hours either before or after, manager's choice. I cannot tell you how awful it felt going to bed knowing that there was a good chance you'd get a call at 1:30 am telling you to be there at 3 am. We worked LOTS of 16 hour shifts that were forced on us. Nurses were fleeing the unit like rats off a sinking ship (I'm one of those lucky rats), so we were chronically understaffed, meaning the call nurse was regularly used to staff up the unit.
  11. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    2
    Quote from aleandwhores
    From what I’ve read, 12s aren’t bad if in moderation. Such as 3 on 3 off, 2 on 2 off, etc. But I believe when nurses attempt to self schedule 5 12s in a row to get a week off, it becomes dangerous and should be limited.
    From what you have read? Does that mean you don't have personal experience working 12's? I think what you wrote is incorrect and certainly does not match my personal experience. I think maybe if you worked days that would be true but not for nights. I actually get more sleep the longer my strech of 12's is. Working 3 on and 3 off or 2 on and 2 off would kill me and be very dangerous from lack of sleep. It's the transion from regular life days to working nights that gets me. I used to work six 12's in a row then have 8 days off and it was great! Twords the end I was nocternal and coming to work after a full 8 or 9 hours sleep during the day and feeling much better rested and alert the longer the stretch goes on.. The first day or two trying to sleep days usually means only 4-6 hours sleep. After the 2dn or 3rd day I get into the nights shift schedual and can sleep all day. If I was working 2 on 2 off I would constantly be in transition mode between regular family life days and work NOCS. I can tell you from experience that my health would suffer and I would be unsafe.
    wooh and joanna73 like this.
  12. Visit  joanna73 profile page
    3
    I work nights. When I have two or three nights off and then return for shifts, that's exhausting. You must remember, that for anyone working nights, that first night off doesn't count as an actual day off, because you went home to sleep. So two nights off is really only one, and not enough. In order for me to feel truly rested, I need to work a bunch of shifts and then be off for a week. 2 on 2 off or 2 on 3 off sucks. I certainly don't function at my best.
    redhead_NURSE98!, wooh, and PMFB-RN like this.
  13. Visit  LisaLPN7 profile page
    0
    I will not work 12s in a hospital (or a nursing home). I absolutely refuse. Back when I worked in hospitals as an LPN, they ran the three eight hour shifts. During that shift, we always got a 30 minute lunch and two 15 minute breaks. Not one time did we miss any of our breaks, and the most I ever had to stay past 7am (I worked 11-7) was maybe 10 minutes on a rare instance.

    A short time back, before I renewed my license which I'd allowed to expire, I worked in our local hospital as a PCA. I worked a 9-5:30 day shift to come in "during the busiest time". The other PCAs worked 6 to 6, and the licensed nurses worked 7-7. I saw the nurses rarely get their 30 minute lunch break at all. If they did get to eat, they scarfed down crap in under 5 minutes, while being screamed at over Voceras. And they absolutely never got to take the two 10 minute breaks. I don't know how they did it. And I absolutely will not do it now that I am an LPN again.

    The only way I might consider a 12 hr shift is if I manage to find a job in corrections with a good company. I'm just not willing to put my license, my health, or my sanity on the line for a 12 hr shift like I saw in the hospital recently.


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