12 hour shifts...dangerous? - page 7

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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    From what Iíve read, 12s arenít 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.

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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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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    Quote from LisaLPN7
    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.
    *** The problems you observed have everything to do with the managment and culture of that organization and nothing at all to do with the length of shifts.
    wooh and nrsang97 like this.


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