How did nursing ever "buy into" 12-hr shifts??? - page 4

My unit has lost four nurses to other non-hospital jobs, so the nurses can be home in the evening with their young children. How did we ever get to 12 hour shifts? How do we get OUT of them???... Read More

  1. by   LauraRN0501
    We do 12s, but have one person doing 8s. I'm all for people doing what they can do, and this nurse is so burned out she loses it when she does 12s. BUT I have to say that when she leaves at three, the rest of us are stuck with either dividing up her patients, or, if she's charge, we are stuck without a charge nurse. The admissions we have gotten lately from 3-7 are amazing, we always get at least 2 anymore. So, when she leaves, it causes some difficulty and hard feelings. Management basically tells us to suck it up, that we have the staff and can do it. Don't see them helping out from 3-7. Bah.
  2. by   Anaclaire
    I've worked 8's and 12's. I've also worked 4's and 16's. YIKES!

    In the early to mid 1990's our hospital began making our units aim for being all 12 hour shifts within a year or so. Their reason: It takes less staff members to supply a unit/floor with 12 hour nurses than 8 hour nurses. MONEY IS THE BOTTOM LINE FOR THE EMPLOYERS... AS ALWAYS!

    Our manager tried to let us do the shifts we wanted to. She spend God only knows how many hours trying to prepare a schedule to make everyone happy. She'd fill in as much as she could when you gave her your schedule request, and then about 2 or 3 days before she had to turn in the schedule for administration's approval, she'd be on our unit, pulling each of us aside to beg us to help fill in the "holes". That's where we found ourselves working some 4 hour shifts.

    There were many nurses who enjoyed the 12's because they had so much more time off between working days. Of course when working the 12's there is no time to do anything but sleep when you get off if you have to work the next day. I usually worked the 12's and when I worked an 8 it seemed to fly by... even though the 12 hour shift is "just one more set of vital signs"... LOL

    I see benefits and drawbacks to both the 12's and 8's. It could be debated forever I suppose.

    The bottom line in my experience is that "nursing bought into working 12 hour shifts" because it cost the hospital less money since they needed to have less employees to staff the 12 hour shifts compared to the 8 hour shifts.

    That Almight Dollar is going to be the ruin of everything I'm afraid.
  3. by   adrienurse
    I only work 8s, but work 7 days straight every 2 weeks. How can a person be expected to still have any patience on her 7th day. What other profession would expect staff to work under such conditions.
  4. by   Gomer
    Love my 12-hour shifts!!! I work 2 12's (PT) at one hospital for the benefits and 2 12's (sometimes 3 as a PD) at another hospital for the money. If I get tired, I just cut down on the 2nd hospital.

    12's are standard in would probably have a riot if you tried to do away with them. (Even the cops in LA are trying to get on 12's)
  5. by   KC CHICK
    Originally posted by dawngloves
    I agree with NancyRN. Cops don't even work twelves!

    I work 7P-7A Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I love it!! Best of all, my husband has the same schedule I do.
    What does my husband do for a living?......he's a COP!

    When I started out of school, I worked five 8' thank you. I'm sure glad I don't do that anymore!! 12's are the way to go for me.

  6. by   NannaNurse
    Let's see here........3 nurses a day for all 3 shifts(8 hours each) =15 shifts paid for................
    2 nurses for 2 shifts (12 hours) means 1 less nurse to pay for or worry about and =10 save 5 shifts or 40 hours of pay.
    Actually I love my 12's. I work less during the week, don't mess with stress raising traffic on the way home and don't feel like I have to rush through my day 'just to get done by 3'.
    Plus, I feel like I get to spend more time (quality) with my pts and their families.....some of them don't come in until after 3 pm.
  7. by   Teshiee
    I disagree, I have a 4 year old and because I work 12 hours shifts I work less days which gives me time to spend with my son. Besides it is the quality time not so much just being there with your family. I can't stand working 8 hours 5 days a week oh no that is more tiring and I am glad they went to 12 hours. I guess you can say it depends on the individual, your lifestyle and what works for you. I have notice some units are incorporating 8 hours shifts with 12 hour but I rather work long hours than working lots of days.
  8. by   shrpgrl
    I work 2 12 hour shifts on the weekend. We have ours set up for 11-11 and I work the 11 am one. I can do it 2 days a week. The only problem is we get mandated to 16 hours frequently. I do it to be off during the week with my son. They pay us almost the same as when I worked 40 hrs. I can also pick up hours on any shift during the wee but it is my choice. When I worked 5 days a week I was mandated frequently so I like this better.
  9. by   maizey
    I work three 12 hours shifts in a row. I'm 52 years old. I'm worthless on my first day off and my second day is not much better. So actually only realize 2 good days off and the last day is spent getting ready to do it all over again. I do like the time off but not sure it is really worth it in the long run.
  10. by   Alley Cat
    Can't decide if I like 8's better or not. My family is happier; my 9 year old wanted me home in the evening, but I am having a tough time adjusting to the new job (switching from NICU to outpt pediatric sedations on the floor). Haven't decided if my stress is from the more days on the job or the job itself.
    I loved 12's when the kids were littler, but needed to be home when they are now that they're both in school. I DO like no weekends, no holidays after 19 years of both; the differential is no longer worth it to me.. . Several people at our hospital are unhappy with 12's after being used to 8's, have lost many people to other facilities which offer a choice.
  11. by   Teshiee
    I wonder even if they decided to go back to 8 hours where in the world would they get the extra staff to fill-in 3-11 it is hard enough to get stafff on a 12 hour basis!.
  12. by   sjoe
    Ya know, there are scheduling software programs that allow hospitals and other facilities to schedule a wide variety of working hours, not just one pattern, for the same number of people and the same number of hours.

    For example, some people can work 8s, some 12s, some 10s, etc. This is not rocket science, but most facilities seem to be able to think about just one schedule and try to force all their employees into it. It gives them an illusion of control, I suppose, but is very short-sighted and primitive.
  13. by   Enabled
    The latest thing at one of the local hospitals is that the financial officer thinks that the nurses are deliberately bilking the place for overtime. MY girlfriend who is a unit manager had to be held down in order not to strangle the guy. They took three major members of her unit=head nurse,head tech, and another RN and opened a floor that was going to open when another closed beds Well, they opened, didn't close the beds, lost a unit manager so one of the nursing supervisors is actuing as temp unit manager adn doing evals on nurses she has only seen actually working on the unit for a few shifts before doing them. Thy said my girlfriends floor could have 7 more travelers and they were complaining without these people and the loss of the other. Who is kidding who. My girlfriend is going on vacation soon to Hawaii as her hubby wants to retire there and she is going to look around so to speak because she was thrown into the job without orientation and had to do evals and budgets that were past due and the former manager was her new supervisor and wanted to know why they weren't in on time. See the word administration gets to them. I say put administrators on the floor for clinical hours to keep their skills up because if we do go to war they are not going to be administrators. I even suggested to my girlfriend as far a creative scheduling have nurses who have kids in school come when the kids are in school and be able to leave in time for them to get the kids. They can pick up the slack of admissions, ivs as there isn't a team, patient teaching. There are a lot of tasks that can be done. The administration of the hospital came out with incentives for those RNs who wanted to work extra. No problem, BUT they were not offering the LPNs who were working extra hours. No wonder there is a riff between RNs and LPNs at times. The hospital is also having UAPs do what use to be considered nursing functions such as dressing changes and inserting foleys. Not on me you won't. There are all kinds of creative scheduling as you said. How hard is it to download a program. It is ridiculus. They could have the program designed if they had to but they are already out there