What do you think of 12 hour shifts - page 7

So many people are envious of nurses working 12 hours shifts and having 3 to 4 days off but I truly dislike this shift. I work nights and often only get 1 or 2 days off in a row. That often results... Read More

  1. by   Irish_Mist
    I love 12 hour shifts. Working three days a week is a sweet deal. I stay busy so before I know it, it's almost 1700. Win win.
  2. by   Viviana
    Sure is. I was prepared to quit my job when they suddenly decided that we had to switch to 8 hour shifts for December and January, so I'll stay for now. As nurses gain experience and become more valuable to their facilities, they also start to age and are less able to work 12/13/14 hours a day. This leads to a drain of experienced staff to medical organizations who have 8 hour posts available.
  3. by   shlbtlr
    I would talk to your manager or whoever does your scheduling. I used to work 2 on, 1 off, 4 on, 7 off. I absolutely loved it. I got an entire week off of work so I actually could go on vacations or trips and get to spend time with family. My job prior to that I worked 8's and only had two days off a week and I swear I never spent time with my family (I worked second shift -- because I'm currently in nursing school). Now due to school, I don't work my modified 7on/7off but I work three days per week, each week. The only downside to this schedule to my current situation is that I work every single weekend (Sat-Mon) but I remind myself it's only for 4 more semesters.
  4. by   serenitylove14
    I use to be able to do them, but now I would much rather work an 4 or 8 hour shift.
  5. by   nehneh14
    I DESPISED 12 hour shifts. They're miserable, especially on a high stress unit. (Although now, it's hard to find a unit that isn't high stress.) I made a point to ask about it during my first hospital job interview and was told they operated on 8 hour shifts. Within about 2 months it was announced they were switching to twelves. I spent 5 miserable years on the night shift doing 12s. Never again.
  6. by   smartnurse1982
    Wow,i just look at you people with awe.

    i work 16 hr shifts,3pm to 7am Thursday and Saturday,in addition to 8 hour night shifts Mon,Tues,Wed,Fri

    Then again,i work 74 hours per week(same agency)
  7. by   versican
    I am a newer (yet older) nurse. The first year was med-surg days. Understaffed, usually, so 12 hr shifts never ended on time. If I worked consecutive days, it was very rarely the same patients - we float to whatever floor is in most demand. Absolutely hated it. About EVERY day off, we would be called to see if we could come in and cover someone...made me feel guilty to say "no" but I usually did. Second year I got a clinic job -- mostly 8-9 hr days. Love it. Matches my family schedule much better.

    I'm too out-of-shape for 12 hour shifts...it was too hard on me physically, and I was mentally drained before my shift was over.
  8. by   SopranoKris
    I have been on nights since graduating from nursing school. I had to do day shift for 4 months when I switched to critical care in the ICU. I really hated being on day shift. I am a total night owl and waking up at 0430 so I could get dressed, eat, drive to work and be on the floor by 0630 was excruciating for me. I have a hard time falling asleep before midnight, so I wasn't getting much sleep at all. Working nights has been great. I am able to self-schedule, so I work Fri, Sat & Sun. (My kids are grown and my hubby gets Tues & Wed off with me). I love having Mon - Thur off.

    I usually come home Monday morning and take a nap until a little after noon. Then I get up and have a somewhat "normal" day. I usually go to bed around 0200 and get up at 0900 on Tuesday so I can be "normal" during the week. Works out great for us. My hubby and I consider Tues & Wed our "weekend" since we have those days off together. Just love it.

    And the best part is that management rarely, if ever, steps foot on the unit during the weekend. We have a great weekend crew. Excellent teamwork.
  9. by   Kamilah Coney
    Quote from SopranoKris
    I have been on nights since graduating from nursing school. I had to do day shift for 4 months when I switched to critical care in the ICU. I really hated being on day shift. I am a total night owl and waking up at 0430 so I could get dressed, eat, drive to work and be on the floor by 0630 was excruciating for me. I have a hard time falling asleep before midnight, so I wasn't getting much sleep at all. Working nights has been great. I am able to self-schedule, so I work Fri, Sat & Sun. (My kids are grown and my hubby gets Tues & Wed off with me). I love having Mon - Thur off.

    I usually come home Monday morning and take a nap until a little after noon. Then I get up and have a somewhat "normal" day. I usually go to bed around 0200 and get up at 0900 on Tuesday so I can be "normal" during the week. Works out great for us. My hubby and I consider Tues & Wed our "weekend" since we have those days off together. Just love it.

    And the best part is that management rarely, if ever, steps foot on the unit during the weekend. We have a great weekend crew. Excellent teamwork.

    Sounds like a win-win situation for you!!! I can't wait to graduate so I can start working on one of these wonderful med-surg units in my area! The plan is to FINALLY get to schedule three straight 12-hour shifts (Friday - Sunday, days only). I used to love being a night owl, but after home educating four kids for the last 5 years as a night nurse, I'm done with the night shifts. #OntoTheDayShift!!!
  10. by   TitaniumPlates
    Yep yep. Just an excuse for schedulers/management to use you as they see fit. If we had <cough> unions and set schedules, swapping when we wanted, we probably wouldn't have this issue at all.At my former (thankyoulordbabyjesus) employer, the scheduler had his faves. He'd put the cool kids on the shifts they wanted, together...and the rest of us could just twist in the wind. There was a girl who routinely got skipped for changing from nights to mids....for several years....even with new people coming in and they'd get the mids that would open first.

    It was bogus bs. And yeah. I agree completely that 12's suck. It's even been shown in studies recently that hospitals that offer 8s, 10s AND 12s have happier employees.

    I did 8s for years and wish to heaven I could get that back. I am considering Kaiser Perm because they have set schedules and 8s. It's complete rubbish that this has to do with "continuum of care". I worked 12 hr mids...and I could rarely ever find a person to hand off to. Thin staffing and people are just so exhausted, they can't take another bit of information.

    8s gives you 4 more hours a day to do what you need to get done. Sleep. Take the kids to practice. Snuggle with the SO. BLOCK scheduling is even more wonderful. But tell that to a passive aggressive manager who uses it to make sure staff doesn't have enough time to go on an out of town interview or even have 4 days off to recharge.

    It's a rare place that allows consistent block scheduling. 12s made sense when that was a possibility. Now it's just a weapon that units use to be able to use staff as they see fit. No life balance comes into their equation.
  11. by   betabob
    I personally really like the three back-to-back 12 hours shifts (Fri-Sun), but I also am a new grad, work days, and am single/childfree. The 4 days off really works well for me, and I usually take the first day to recharge/be dead to the world, then the other 3 to do chores and have fun. Of course with 12 hour shifts (which can easily turn into 13/14 hour shifts), the two nights between them are rough, but the work week goes by fast enough. My job lets us self schedule, so we can have an off day between our shifts if desired.

    I have never worked an 8 hr shift, but I feel if I had to work 5 days, work would consume my life. Getting home earlier would be nice, but I would still be mentally exhausted and coming home around/after dark, so I wouldn't be able to do much around and outside the house. Then I would have to do all my errands, meal prep, etc. during the two days off and have to mentally prep for another long week of work.. I like having a few days where I don't have to think about work at all, so that would be terrible from my perspective.
  12. by   Forest2
    The reason I don't like 12 hours is because I get too tired by the end of my shift. Constant on the go for 12 hours with no breaks and skipping meals is not a good thing for me. Sometimes I have been so tired driving home after a 12 hour night shift that I can hardly get out of the car when I get home or keep my eyes open while driving.
  13. by   FullGlass
    Not everyone likes working 12 hour shifts. There's no shame in that. If you don't like it, then find a job with hours suited to you. I'm currently interviewing, and one doctor told me he only allows 8 hour shifts in his practice because he found that 12 hour shifts led to higher burnout in MDs, NPs, and RNs. We all have different body clocks.

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