How did nursing ever "buy into" 12-hr shifts??? - page 5

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   LilgirlRN
    7 on 7 off 8 hour shifts..... those were the days
  2. by   crnasomeday
    I work 12 hour nights, and I wouldn't want it any other way. I absolutely love my 12s. I've got a husband who works 4-10 hour days/evenings and three young children at home, and it's just a lot easier on me to be able to get all my time done in 3 shifts. The kids end up having to be in child care much less often (only an average of 2-3 hours weekly) than they would if I had to work five 8 hour shifts every week. It is true that by the end of my 3rd night in a row, I am just exhausted, but I don't have to be scheduled for all my nights in a row like that. It just works out nicely for me and my family.
  3. by   P_RN
    i'm a whole bunch >40, bad knees, bad hip, crotchety even when off.

    0430 get up
    0500 breakfast, shower
    0530 leave house
    0655 arrive after driving for 1hr 25 min
    0700-1930 do nurse stuff hahahahaha get out on time?-not
    2030 or later leave hospital 1 hr drive.....not as much traffic
    2130 arrive home
    2200 snarf down some food, read paper, mail etc go to bed
    2230 to bed perchance to sleep, to dream....
    0430 get up.....have had a max of 6 hrs sleep if i got off at 2030

    do this 3-4 times a week. try not to run off the road after that 4th shift.

    realistically bean counters truly believe that nurses "pad the clock."

    have there been any studies to show the relation of error to length of shift or number of days worked?
  4. by   joannep
    Mmm, I do love my 12 hour shifts, but I only have to travel 20 minutes to work. So maybe that contributes quite a bit to my life-style satisfaction.
    I find that with a 12 year old son and a 15 year old daughter I can leave a message on the bench asking for potatoes & vegies to be peeled prepared by such and such time, and hey presto when it is time for my husband to cook (when he comes home from work, he generally gets home 11/2 hour before me) much of the preparation is done.
    Also, I expect the children to do their homework before we are home, unless they really need us to help them.

  5. by   Enabled
    You should be proud of your children as not many would do that nowadays as they have to do their own thing. It is nice when the work is almost done. I am not doing shifts any more but there are many nights a week that I come in after dinner should and the operative word is should be done so that I only have to heat mine up if necessary. I live with 2 brothers and granted one is away most of the month and I don't think he should have to do it but he could order out. I also have my dad there who is almost 80 and he tries to pitch in. On the days off I will cook something with enough for leftovers or such as a sauce and freeze at least one other meal. I always try to bring the frozen stuff out the night before or at least the morning of. I have to list the directions of the microwave for dad as I don't think he will ever get the sequence with half power. Occasionally, I will be good to them and make a real treat. I also have the rule if you make you don't clean. I don't like coming in and finding that stuff that was cooked sometime earlier hasn't been put away. Any suggestions for a houseful of males with the egos to go with it. I do love them Blah!!!!! wash my tongue out with soap. Hovever,no matter what we may have said to each other an hour later we're talking as if nothing happen. And let someone outside or another one of us need something we are always there no matter what. It breaks my heart to see so many children that don't know what a caring family is all about.
  6. by   showmegirl
    :kiss One thing we all need to remember when working in a med surg ect Most the time our 8 hrs shifty is up and were still on the clock to finish up. When working the 12 hour shift that 4 extra hours help us to finish and get all done before we leave. I think the patients and familes also like knowing the nurse they get will be there and only one other change that day make it easier when i come back in the next day when there has been a change in condition. :roll
  7. by   bobstein
    Hospitals did not come up with the idea of 12-hr shifts ... nurses did. I was one of the nurse managers who worked to sell 12-hr shifts to upper administration at the request of my staff. The longer shift does NOT save the hospital money ... it actually costs MORE. It costs more because it requires more nurses. Without getting into a complete explanation about how FTE's work, it requires 4.20 nurses to have one nurse working 24-hrs a day, 7-days a week using 8-hr shifts.

    3-shifts a day x 5 day workweek / 7- coverage = 4.20 nurses

    Using 12-hr shifts, it requires 4.67 nurses have one nurse working 24 working 24-hrs a day, 7-days a week.

    2-shifts a day x 3-day workweek / 7-day coverage = 4.67 nurses

    These figures do not even include the additional nurses required to cover vacation and sick leave replacement. The typical cost of benefits for the additional 0.47 nurses is about 25% of the average hourly rate.

    Typically nurses on 12-hr shifts have a lower rate of sick call-outs and have a higher morale which converts into longevity. Studies that support 12-hr shifts as a cost saver are including the cost of sick leave and the cost of hiring in new staff to replace those who quit.

    The only downside that I see to nursing as a profession, is that no other profession is expected to provide 24-hr services on a regular basis. THAT requirement will never go away, regardless of the length of the shift. -Bob
  8. by   Repat
    I LOVE my 12 hour shifts!! My hospital is very creative with shifts (nursing shortage working as a plus, in a way). They offer 8's, 12's, and 4's. I work WOW - 2 12's, paid for 3. Then I can sign up for extras if I need to, or have a week off if I don't! I do also know of some nurses working 10's, but they are rare.
  9. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    I like 12 hour shifts for many of the reasons cited. I love being off during the day on a weekday... grocery shopping right after the store opens, when it's almost deserted, is so-o-o nice!

    I have a son with multiple disabilities who is now a young adult, but who still has the same needs as a much younger child. With 12 hour shifts I have more time to spend with him on my stretches off, and am able to coordinate his care more easily with his dad, who works 8-4. :kiss

    What I find really hard is my most recent rotation. I call it the Killer Rotation from Hell. In a 28 day rotation nurses work 4 nights (starting Thursday), 3 off, 2 days, 2 off, 3 days, 2 off, 2 days, 3 nights then 7 off. At least 4 of those "off" days are either gearing up for nights or recovering from them. :zzzzz Then there are the very unbalanced paychecks. So hard to budget when one check has 9 shifts on it and the other only 5. Thank God for overdraft protection!
  10. by   CATHYW
    originally posted by enabled
    i think hospitals proposed it so that in some ways nurses would only be working 36 hours a week thus cutting the actual wages but maintaining the poor benefits we have. some facilities have a schedule such as thurs, friday 8 hrs, sat and sunday 12, mon=wed 8 with the following week off it still comes out the same no. that also is a way that managed care has increased the hours so that not as many nurses would be needed therefor a savings to the facility but a curse to the staff.

    and increase "the flexibility" of the schedule. i'll tell ya'll one thing-i've only known of and worked 12's since i was 40. they will absolutely kick your butt, the older you get. since i am now 11 years past 40, i have a little experience to speak from...
    but not a whole lot-i'm not really that old, am i? :d
  11. by   Brigitasha
    I think it is up to the individual whether or not they work 12 hour shifts. My hospital offers both 8 hour and 12 hour shifts. I do not care for 12 hour shifts. It is too long for me personally and it is a scheduling nightmare trying to cover a 12 hour shift sick call.
  12. by   Mimi2RN
    I love 12 hour shifts-tried 8's night shift years ago, never got caught up with only a couple of days off each week.
    We self schedule, if I choose I can take 7 off in a row, gives me time off without using my vacation.
    I'm also long past 40 something, but not ready to retire! I'd have to change jobs if they made us return to 8's. All the nursing staff here works 12's, including CNA's, 6 to 6:30.
  13. by   LatteGuzzler
    I know divergent opinions on 12 hr shifts exist. A co-worker of mine feels they are exploitative - ie the facility gets you for 4 extra hours without overtime. I personally work 12 hr day shifts (06-1830) in Ambulatory Surg on Mon, Th and Fri. That's pert near full time with FOUR, count 'em, FOUR days off a week. I am still held spellbound by this. I can still hack it, even tho I'm tired at the end of the day. I sleep in a little the next day to recoup. But I have two days off during the week, plus weekends off (that's a Day Surg perk). The only problem is, I can't see myself ever changing jobs because I love this schedule so much!:roll