8-hour shifts vs 12-hour shifts

  1. I need some pros and cons of 8-hour and 12-hour shifts. I think that 12-hour shifts would be nice. This would give me four days off a week. My concern is patient safety. Does one become less effective after the 8-hour mark? Any ideas?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   RN34TX
    That's an individual thing.
    I love 12's and hope I never have to go back to 8's.
    But some people can't handle 12's and need to work only 8s.
    Some can work 16's without problem. And some get greedy and attempt to do 16's but are completely worthless after 8 hours.
  4. by   SouthernLPN2RN
    I personally prefer 12's, but it makes you sad when the 8 hr people leave, lol! It does take a little getting used to, and you will be more tired than you would after working an 8 hr shift. After a week or two, I was fine.
  5. by   LisaRn21
    I just graduated and started working. The first weeek of work I did 8's and now I am doing 12's I love 12's so much better especially during orientation. I am not any more tired after 8 then I am after 12. Doing 12's gives you time to get all your ducks in a row, especially if you do day shift, it comes and goes so quickly before you know it its 2pm and you haven't done any charting! I suggest 12's if you can handle it!
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    I'm finally returning to 12-hour shifts after several years of doing four 8's every week. I just think I'll be more effective---not to mention less grumpy---if I don't have to be there practically every stinkin' weekday during the busiest times (11A-7P). Not that 7-11A isn't busy, but I can get a lot more done when I have a team of patients for eight or 12 hours than I can when I'm expected to wrap up a shift's worth of someone else's work with that team during the last four hours.

    The plan is for two 12-hour shifts per week, which is 8 fewer hours than my current 32 per week, but it can easily be made up by picking up extra four- and eight-hour shifts here and there (which won't be a problem, as busy as we were all summer and continue to be now that cold & flu season is here). We'll see how the old body handles it.......but at this point, almost ANYTHING has got to be better than what I've been doing for the past 3 years. Not only that, I'll finally get a chance to do some overtime as well, which would be wonderful (working four days a week, I don't even want to THINK about work on my days off, let alone come in for an extra shift). I've been wanting to spend more time with my family anyway; now maybe I can have the best of both worlds. We'll see!
  7. by   neverathome
    i think 8 hr shifts are better if the ward is not to heavy its too hard on a heavy ward :wink2:
  8. by   luvltc
    I do a 12-hour shift at the hospital (7p to 7a) and I love it. I enjoy my 4 days a week off. I also work part time at a nursing home. Sometimes there I will pull a double shift (which is 16 hours). Even that is not so bad. Am I crazy or what??

    But like RN34TX stated, it has to be an individual thing.

    Smiles and hugs. :icon_hug:
  9. by   Tweety
    I tend to loose my edge after the 12-hour mark, so I don't work double shifts. I haven't noticed a change in my effectiveness or made any major errors after 8 hours. (My worst bumple since working 12-hour shifts came at the beginning of the shift after being off the day before.).

    I think it also depends on the lifestyle. If someone has worked a 12 hour shift, gone home to tend to kids and went bed after midnight and is doing another 12-hour shift, then that's not good.

    I don't do anything between 12 hour shifts but come home, cook, eat, and go to bed early (and play a little on allnurses.com )

    It works real well for me to have 4-days off to pursue my BSN and still have a life.

    I'm not saying it's easy, working 12-hours nonstop on my busy unit nearly kills me some days.

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