12 Hour Shifts - page 2

Does anyone else have issues with working 12 hour shifts? I have been a nurse for four years and I am still exhausted from working 12 hours (not to mention doing two or more in a row). I know, I... Read More

  1. by   disher
    Was soooo exhausted after each 12hr night, can't believe I never had an accident on the drive home. Was a mush brain for the year that I worked rotating 12 hour shifts. Some bodies cannot adapt and mine was one of them. Would never, ever go back to them. If your body is telling you not to do the 12s, why do them? There are plenty of jobs out there and you won't believe how much healthier you'll feel after an 8hour shift.
  2. by   Cherry Soda
    I work twelve hour nights and it is very hard. I am useless my first day off. If I have to work three twelves in a row I sleep all of my days off. It's too tiring, I don't like nights, no life and want to quit anyway
  3. by   Teshiee
    I love working 12 hours. And I have heard many nurses say by the third night or day they are wiped out. I personally do not relish being at work 5 days in a row 8 hours to me that is more tiring. I work per diem 4 days per 6 week schedule, but because our census has picked up I have been working full time hours 3 12's with occasional 4 or 5. I guess to help it is spread out your days one on two off. I know it is not for everyone I hope you find relief, though it can be a killer. :-)

    Cherry Soda you poor thing! I know my fellow nurse mates hate nights too. But I love night shift I am the odd ball that can't work days I know I will never have problem finding a job. It is rough. I notice when I do get very tired I will take a week off to rejuvenate.
    Last edit by Teshiee on Jul 10, '02
  4. by   kewlnurse
    I will work nothing less than 12.5 hour shifts (actually 13 hour, we don't get paid for lunch). They get rid of them and I am out the door. I work 3 in a row. Wouldn't have it any other way. I hope the complainers don't ruin it for the rest of us. BTW After my 3 rd day I am up by noon, on the golf course by 1:30 at the latest, play 18 then down a few pints at the pub, you gotta know how to enjoy life to the fullest instead of being tired all the time.
  5. by   OrthoNutter
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    It is very hard on a person.....myself included at times. I love being on per diem status; this way, I can arrange my schedule to exclude being on 12's as much as possible. Self-scheduling ROCKS. Or I can choose to work a 12 once or twice a week. tTo me, the hardest thing is 12-hour NIGHT shift!!! Boy, can that tax a person. I feel your pain!
    I used to love my 12hr nights....I'm awake from 5pm anyway so rather than twiddling my thumbs for five hours waiting to go to work, I'd rather cook my dinner and eat early and head in for 7pm. That way, less nights and equal pay. But unfortunately, the only ward that does them where I work is ICU and I'll be damned if I'll go back there just for the pleasure of 12hr nights!:chuckle
  6. by   joannep
    Benzene, I hope you decide to become a nurse and you are no way too old to cope/manage full time work. I am 41 years old, married, two children (12 & 15). I went back to work full time when the second child was 4. I am certified in both Nephrology and Perioperative nursing with extensive experience in both.

    I work in dialysis 6x12 hour shifts (7.30am-8pm) + 1x4 hour (3.30pm-7.30pm) shift per fortnight, which is a 76 hour fortnight.
    So I work 6 1/2 days per fortnight. I am on a permanent rotating 4 week roster, if you want to change a shift you have to arrange a swap with someone else. I find I have to change very little, in six months only twice. The roster never has more than 2x12 hour shifts in a row, the most I have is 2x12 hour with the next day my 4 hour shift followed by a day off. The four week rotating roster gives everyone a three day break once in the four weeks.

    I like the system because I also work a casual 6 or 4 hour shift in the OR in a nearby hospital on one of my days off. I have found there is such a shortage of OR nurses that I have been able to negotiate to work 6 hours (7.30 am-1.30pm) (1pm-7pm) (6pm-12mn) or even a 4 hour shifts (10am-2pm) which provides cover for lunch breaks.
    So I get the best of both worlds and time to spare with my family.

  7. by   JMP
    We do rotations- 2 weeks 12 hour days and then 2 weeks 12 hour nights.
    This weekend coming up is the dreaded 3 in a row- and I have to say after Friday Sat and Sun- by Monday morning at 7 you are, as rusty hammer said so well, only a warm body.

    I try to eat right and on my days off, esp during the 2 weeks of nights.....try to do things for me, relax, have fun. The people with small children .......... my hat off to you, it must be tough.

    I find the work in challenging but draining. You need to plug in your battery on your time off and recharge.

  8. by   BadBird
    I have worked 7p-7a for the past 8 years. I agree it can be tiring if you don't plan for enough rest. I am a natural night owl so this works out well for me and my family. I will do some llp's but I feel like I missed something. I am 43 and still going strong, I can't imagine working daylight and having to drive in parkway traffic that is a at a gridlock every morning.
  9. by   LasVegasRN
    I was a complete and total BYTCH working 12 hour shifts. HATED IT.
    I was at my sparkling best working 3 pm - 11 pm.
    Now, after having worked bankers' hours for the last 10 years with no weekends or holidays, or being on call, there's no WAY I'd go back. Can't do it. No way. YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!
  10. by   Kikumaru
    Are there many hospitals out there which will accompany nurses wanting to work 8 hr shifts?
  11. by   ChristenLPN
    I used to work 5 8's a week and when I switched to 3 12's, it was pretty hard at first but there is no way I would ever go back to my previous schedule. I live about 30 minutes from town, so by the time I drove in and back, it seemed like for those five days, I was always at work. And then on the weekend I'd wear myself out getting all the stuff done I hadn't had time for during the week, so Monday am, I was drained before the week even began. :zzzzz
    Rusty is dead on, though, about 3 in a row. Makes me a zombie!
  12. by   meownsmile
    i worked 12's about 6 years ago and didnt like them much. Went per-diem and did days only and now am back full-time on orientation. Just graduated and orientating to RN position. The 3 nights of 12 in a row kill me. However, lucky me they just had a 8hour day/night rotation come open so that is where im headed after orientation.
    I have to consider also that i have two early teen girls(both in Jr high next year) and i have to be home to at least see they are in bed at a decent time during the school year. I'm not as tired when i work 8's either.
    Maybe someday ill find that daytime/no night/no weekend/no holiday job. LOL If they still have them out there.
  13. by   Stormy62
    I think the desire/ability to work 8's or 12's is directly related to the person doing/not doing them and their lifestyle. Which by the way will change throughout our careers as nurses.

    I worked 12 hour shifts since my nursing career began in the 1980's. By doing this I was off 4 days a week. Two years ago I switched to a nursing job that allowed me to work 8 hour shifts, Monday-Friday with holidays off. Oh what a welcome relief! No more weekends or Holidays!

    Well the "relief" lasted two years, and I have found because of changes in lifestyle as I grow older, and children growing up, that I didn't like going to work five days a week. Even though they were only 8 hour days, it felt like I was going to work EVERY DAY of my life! I had no time to see the family who now live in other areas of the country, I had no time for hobbies, no time for anything besides going to work Monday-Friday.

    So back to the 12 hours shifts, I have returned. I don't think I will ever want to do those 5-day-a-week-8-hours-a-day shifts again! Love the 12's because I don't have to work every day of the week now!

    So what it boils down to is this: We (fortunatley) are all different people with different needs...some like 12's some like 8's...we also as individuals will find those "needs" change through the years and fortunatley, nursing is diverse enough to accommodate those changing/evolving needs.