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Effect of 12 Hour Shifts on Patient Care and the Nurse: A Need for Change.

Nurses Article   (8,978 Views 91 Replies 918 Words)

LindaGracie is a ADN, BSN and specializes in geriatric, psychiatric/mental illness.

4 Articles; 983 Profile Views; 18 Posts

How can I bring change to 12 hour shifts on patient care?

Many nurses find it difficult to work 12 hour shifts both physically and cognitively. Research has shown working 12 hour shifts often effect nurses’ critical thinking, productivity and job satisfaction which impacts patient care and patient safety. This Article discusses a change theory which can be used to implement changes to the current practice of working 12 hour shifts. You are reading page 6 of Effect of 12 Hour Shifts on Patient Care and the Nurse: A Need for Change.. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

glowbug has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN.

90 Posts; 3,909 Profile Views

I prefer 12 hour shifts. I do not want to be at work Monday - Friday. Heck no!! 

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booter512 has 22 years experience and specializes in Diabetes, Transplant, CCU, Neurology.

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Nurses are in such high demand nearly everywhere, I can't understand why a nurse would stay in an area where a 2-hour commute was necessary.  Life is too short.

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

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My wife works from home and has no commute.  Also we have a 6 bedroom house in a gated community, with a pool for $1600.00 per month (until a year ago utilities were also included).  As a PMHNP my job opportunities are more limited in this area and even working in Orlando (DT) means about two hours with traffic. The same can be said of other options like The Villages, Tampa, and Cape Canaveral.  You will find that many people commute at least an hour, but the point is that with 12 hours shifts the "opportunity cost" of the commute is minimized. Thus, with a one hour each way commute and 12 hour shift you could be expected to spend about 300 hours per year in your vehicle (6x50).  However, with 8 hour shifts all of the sudden the number jumps to 500 or an extra 200 hours.  That is literally an extra 5 weeks of an average work week spent in your vehicle.  If we consider the "getting ready for work time" the effect is magnified even more. Thus, I spend on average about an hour per day "getting ready" for my job. Thus 8 hours shifts would mean another extra 100 hours per year (for the extra two days per week) just on the "getting ready for work" process. 

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

612 Posts; 4,262 Profile Views

Also, I forgot to include the "and now my day is ruined" factor.  That is to say even seeing the sight of my hospital let along actually entering the facility  pretty much ruins my entire day (having to speak or make eye contact with my manager pretty much ruins the entire month, but that is a different matter).. Thus, if I had to work five days per week (as is the case with eight hour shift) then 5/7 days would be sXXX from the get go.  Conversely, with twelve hour shifts only three days per week fall into that category.

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LindaGracie is a ADN, BSN and specializes in geriatric, psychiatric/mental illness.

4 Articles; 18 Posts; 983 Profile Views

14 hours ago, myoglobin said:

Also, I forgot to include the "and now my day is ruined" factor.  That is to say even seeing the sight of my hospital let along actually entering the facility  pretty much ruins my entire day (having to speak or make eye contact with my manager pretty much ruins the entire month, but that is a different matter).. Thus, if I had to work five days per week (as is the case with eight hour shift) then 5/7 days would be sXXX from the get go.  Conversely, with twelve hour shifts only three days per week fall into that category.

That was how I felt about Atrium Health when I worked there. That feeling lasted for about a year even after leaving the hospital. One year later when I drive or ride by the hospital I don't have the intense negative emotions stir up. It is sad that a job can be so stressful that it triggers such intense negative emotions. Have you thought about going into another area of nursing?

 

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HiddencatBSN is a BSN and specializes in Peds ED.

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On 11/2/2019 at 9:30 PM, booter512 said:

Nurses are in such high demand nearly everywhere, I can't understand why a nurse would stay in an area where a 2-hour commute was necessary.  Life is too short.

The jobs with a shorter commute paid significantly less than the ones I commuted for, and we’d just bought a home and had small kids who were established with school and services in the community. We did eventually move but the commute was not the factor. I had an audible account and it was the most “reading “ I’ve had the chance to do since having kids.

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13 hours ago, HiddencatBSN said:

The jobs with a shorter commute paid significantly less than the ones I commuted for, and we’d just bought a home and had small kids who were established with school and services in the community. We did eventually move but the commute was not the factor. I had an audible account and it was the most “reading “ I’ve had the chance to do since having kids.

My first job in 82 I worked with a nurse who commuted an hour each way, I thought she was crazy.  But she liked to say she had 5 kids and work was her easy time, lol.  Years and years later I did essentially that same commute, from the same town into downtown.  I did it because I was living with friends temporarily and the pay was, imo, pretty impressive.  

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subee has 45 years experience as a MSN, CRNA.

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I loved 8's on Monday and Thursdays and 12's on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Best of both worlds.  Scheduled all appointments on Wednesdaysm. BUT, no kids. Easy peasy.

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

612 Posts; 4,262 Profile Views

On 11/3/2019 at 7:30 PM, LindaGracie said:

That was how I felt about Atrium Health when I worked there. That feeling lasted for about a year even after leaving the hospital. One year later when I drive or ride by the hospital I don't have the intense negative emotions stir up. It is sad that a job can be so stressful that it triggers such intense negative emotions. Have you thought about going into another area of nursing?

 

Yes, I have become a PMHNP and all my offers are for 5 day/8 hours shifts. Thus, it is perhaps ironic that I will be forced to embrace the very thing that I have argued so vehemently against.  I do have one offer in Seattle that would be 4 ten hours days and I'm told by the other PMHNP's that they earn double what I'm being offered in Florida (about 120K). However, it would mean working 1099, getting paid 70% of the insurance gross and then paying $400.00 per month in office fees and another $200.00 for billing and front office support. It would also mean not getting paid for 2-3 months (I would get paid when insurance pays unless I went cash only like some in the office). Thus, I would have to work my 4 ten's as a PMHNP and then work two 12's on the weekend, and still survive in a $1200.00 AirBnb and eat Ramen noodles and pray my Honda Odyssey with 350K miles held up (at least I practice intermittent fasting and only eat once per day) for six months or more. Oh, and my wife would remain back in Florida with our son who is starting college and maybe visit once per month if I'm lucky (she works from home as a telepsych provider and can work from anywhere). Thus, I will need to practice some of the very same cognitive behavioral therapy techniques upon myself with regard to my beliefs about eight hour shifts that I advocate for my clients or conversely adapt to a radically different life style on the West coast.

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booter512 has 22 years experience and specializes in Diabetes, Transplant, CCU, Neurology.

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There's no law saying you have to stay as a NP if you liked the hospital nursing better. I know that here in Virginia, you could work as an NP and make about the same, but I think your cost of living would go way down.  One of the nurses I worked with was an NP and also had a masters in Chemistry.  She worked her 3 12-hour shifts on a unit that did all the heart caths, etc.  2nd job--well she flipped houses for her "fun" job.  

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Welcome to health care. A field that I encouraged none of my own children to pursue.

Edited by 2BS Nurse

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

612 Posts; 4,262 Profile Views

Being an NP has good potential opportunities (depending upon where I work) it's just that most of them revolve around eight hour shifts (a few offer 10 hour shifts which is vastly better). My main point is that almost none involve 12 hour shifts, something which makes being an RN attractive.  Sadly I "sold my financial soul" to Sallie Mae and must embrace my destiny to pay those loans which means earning the higher PMHNP pay. Jesus said that the wages of sin are death, but for me the wages of student loans (so that I could work less in school) are probably working until death.  Then again many studies show that working in older age is conducive to cognitive and physical health (and that retirement often has the opposite effect especially in men) so there may be an upside. 

 

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