8hr vs. 12hr work days - page 4

by sjm30

17,367 Views | 50 Comments

I cant help but wonder if the nursing profession would benefit from lowering the number of hours worked in a day. I know that most nurses enjoy the extra days off by working 3 twelve hour shifts a week but those last few hours... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from TeenyTinyBabyRN
    Well, most of the world does not work evenings or nights, which is what 2/3 of the nurses have to work, for 8 hour shifts.
    I've seen posts here and elsewhere discussing 8 vs 12's but most responders don't post their shifts. 12 hours days is one thing, but with 12 hour shifts, 1/2 of your staff is working nights. And while they will get an extra day off, it's not easy to adjust back to a normal social pattern when off.

    Also, working 3 shifts per week totals 72 hours, so unless the hours are made up, the employee is reducing their salary their income by 10%. And, if you make up the hours, you're now giving back one of those "days off"
  2. 0
    Where I work the 12 hour people work one 8 hour shift a pay to make up the difference.You get more than one extra day off with 12s.
  3. 0
    There are positives for both 8s and 12s. The one for 8s is shorter hours. The one for 12s is less days having to work. Honestly after working 3 years of 12s I think I could be more involved with my family on 8s.
  4. 1
    Eight hour shifts give you that couple hours of margin in your life, where you can see your family, buy some groceries, go to the dentist and still work your shift.
    I would be thrilled to work eights - and feel the reason so many older, experienced nurses leave bedside care is because of the exclusive 12-hour shifts most facilities have gone to.
    MrChicagoRN likes this.
  5. 0
    Mary, I think you may be right about older nurses not wanting to work the 12's as much as younger nurses. Would love to see some research to see if there is an age to shift preference correlation
  6. 2
    There are positives and negatives to each shift. I've come from working 8 hr shifts M-F and sitting in traffic an hour each way due to crammed freeways during rush hour. It was nice to have every weekend off, but weekend activities were crowded everywhere because most people are off. Most child care is geared toward these people too. Sleeping normal hours was nice too. Now I work 12 hr shifts. It's nice to have multiple days off during the week to get errands done with minimal fuss. I miss seeing my kids on the days I work, but I get a lot of time to spend with them on my days off. I think it's a trade off that you learn to live with no matter what shift you work.
    hikernurse and DizzyLizzyNurse like this.
  7. 0
    Oh no, how awful. I will pray for your situation.
  8. 0
    [My disclaimer I am assuming full time status.]

    Has it been considered that moving from 8 hour shifts to 12 hour shifts has contributed to the loss of cohesion among staff? We are only there 3 days a week, instead of 5. And if the 12 hour shifts rotate, we may not run into the same nurse for quite a few days or a week. When all nurses worked 8 hour shifts we often would hand off our patients to the same nurse and get report from the same ones.
    Just a thought.
  9. 0
    That is a good observation, and I think you are right. However, i also think they can work the 12 hr shift the same way- if the scheduling person can get to the idea that a lot of people want the same days on and off, and set up a routine, we can still see the same staff on the same days. Back in the 80's when we did 8 hr shifts, we were happy to get for example, Tuesdays and Weds off every week for years. We just wanted that stability. At that time there wasn't this ideal and desire of getting all the weekends off. We knew what industry we were in, we knew it was 24/7, and we just didn't expect to have weekends off. The worst shedules I have been on were the rotating ones, that had a goal of giving everyone a weekend off every so many rotations. Horrible. I could do that schedule when I was in my 20's and had no family or responsibilities, but not once I had a family and a farm and a church etc. I can even work NOCs on Sundays, no big deal. But I would prefer it be a solid routine. So I know what to expect every time.

    The next worst scheduling nightmare was in a SNF that had a large medicare wing, two actually. There were 4 wings, it was big. But there was an 8 hr shift schedule, and it had to mesh with a 12 hr schedule. Well, there were days when my 12 hours were extended to 16 unexpected hours because the scheduler did not tell me or ask me to stay over till 11 pm. I just kept waiting for my relief and it never came, So there I was till 11 pm. This happened many times. And the worse thing was that I lived an hour away. So there was that long drive. And my husband was none too happy. He wanted me outta there.
  10. 1
    Well depending on what you think is older, I am 50 and I prefer 12 hr shifts. I just want to do my time and then take care of my goats and husband and church the rest of the week.
    hikernurse likes this.


Top