Or vice versa? If so, how was the transition, and did staff morale plummet? Did you lose many nurses in the transition?
Wrongway Regional Medical Center's medical side went to 12 hour shifts some years ago, and lost several good nurses. About a year ago, the psych side went to 12 hour shifts, and again, lost several nurses. The transitions have been called a "fiasco" and "nonsense & chaos".
The director of the psych side had a game plan to which could not stand, like
no split shifts- 12 hour or nothing,
no bonuses for agreeing to work a shift,
and pulled only from your home unit only in the event of a an emergency.
The reality of the situation has been that staffing will take 4 or 8 hour increments to fill a void, will pay incentives for coming in, and will pull nurses from their home units to fill any holes. I was pulled from my home unit of geriatric psych three times in the past month.
Morale is low and I'm reasonably sure no money has been saved.
The situation truly is "nonsense & chaos".
I worked for a facility that offered both 8 and 12 hour shifts before it was bought out. It was great to have both options. Some nurses couldn't stand working five days a week but loved working three twelves followed by four days off. Others had children and couldn't work 12s due to child care but could easily work the 8s. Then there were those who liked to work two doubles a week for 32 hours and done liked the combo of two 8s and two 12s. Basically, there wasn't a lot of griping about the shift they worked.
However, I really felt for the supervisor who had to figure out where to place people to even out the numbers. I would get asked to stay till 7 a lot at 1pm, and then asked to stay till 11pm when 5pm rolled around also. I was young and single. I could use the money and didn't mind staying.
Now, with most places in my area transitioned to 12s, I have felt the other side of it. Now I can't always work a 12, could work an 8 but not allowed to schedule that way in advance, so I don't work much right now. I don't have childcare and to find a reliable and affordable nanny for a child that would have to be picked up from school (especially with what the average rate is here for a nurse vs a nanny) is a very scary thought for me. I just imagine getting a call from the school saying they didn't show up...yeah, getting off now without pre-planning would not work very well. I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem. However, staffing for two shifts is easier than three so if people will do it, well, then that's what will be offered.
One thing I did notice is more call offs with 12s. one can usually push through an 8 if they aren't feeling well, but a 12 when sick is brutal. Then the attendance policies have people coming in so that they don't get fired because they got sick, and they infect the whole unit.
I seen on one floor where the nurse manager took a poll and 100% of the staff requested to go from 8 hour shifts to 12 hours. Worked out great as there was a good spread of those who wanted days vs nights so it was all covered. I see pros and cons either way. Transitions usually are difficult even in the best of circumstances. That same floor is now a mix of 12's and 8's.
A little while before I was hired, my hospital transitioned from 8's to 12's. The nurses that did not want to make the change, or were unable to, were allowed to keep their 8-hr shifts. Over time, as nurses retired and new ones took their place, 12-hr shifts became the new norm. Right now, we only have one person left that still works 8's, and she is considering retiring soon. My coworkers mostly seem happy with the 12-hour shifts now. I was not there during the transition, so that is all I can say about it.
I did a research paper a while back about the pros and cons of 8 and 12 hour shifts. It was pretty interesting. Ultimately, I learned that the real question is not "which shift length is better," but "which shift length works better for this organization?" Companies are encouraged to evaluate their workplaces, resources and staff characteristics to determine what works best for their company and employees. Key points to consider are adequate safety measures, good teamwork, and a capable workforce. One of the most important things is to include the nurses in the decision-making process!
My current hospital switched several years ago before I started working there. They did it in phases. First phase was all the charge nurses were 12's then the rest of the staff slowly followed over the coarse of a couple of months.
We have a couple of older nurses who have a hard time with the 12s so management let them go to an every other weekend warrior type thing where they work every other Saturday and one weekday on the opposite week. They are just part-time/PRN and mainly still works big for some extra cash (they have already officially retired and this is like a side job).
I'm young and have no kids so they love the 12s, but the days can definitely be long. I've heard some of my coworkers make comments about childcare and things like that as far as negatives but for the most part everyone likes having those 4 days off every week.
I would love to do eights! I honestly don't care either way.
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