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8 Hour Night Shifts

Nurses   (9,641 Views 21 Comments)
by Tait Tait, MSN, RN (Member)

Tait has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Pain and Spine.

6 Articles; 28,143 Visitors; 2,093 Posts

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Would you work 8's instead of 12's if scheduled consistently?

  1. 1. Would you work 8's instead of 12's if scheduled consistently?

    • Yes
      19
    • No
      44
    • Maybe
      7

51 members have participated

Ok so I am working on my capstone project for my RN-MSN-Ed. My PICOT at this point is dealing with 8 vs 12 hour shifts.

On an unrelated note my first job was working 11-7a. Basically I hated it because I felt like I had no life. Half the time my days off were spread apart so I never had recoup time, or I was on call until 3am (very small hospital).

Anyway, here is my question, not for my project, but for my own curiosity. Let's say it is proven, beyond a doubt, that 8 hour shifts could improve your life. If you could be scheduled like this:

January: Sun-Thur

Feb: Mon-Fri

March: Tue-Sat

April: Wed-Sun

and so forth, moving your work week one day, but keeping your days together, would you work 8's instead of 12's?

I know there are a million variables to this, but for me I think consistency would be the key, at least for me to work nights as an 8 hour.

Thanks for any feedback!

Tait

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7,973 Visitors; 330 Posts

No way. Not 5 in a row. I did 8 hr nights buying PT and never more than three in a row.

Nope

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Aliakey specializes in Emergency.

5,133 Visitors; 131 Posts

I live in a rural area and work in the city. With fuel prices climbing and such, I prefer 12 hour shifts. Not only do I get to save fuel and vehicle wear n' tear by going into town less frequently and still work these full time hours, but there is also the time saved from driving itself. An hour and a half here and there may not seem like much for some, but that is time I can spend with family, sleeping, or just goofing off. So, there is a somewhat-hidden extra expense in moving to 8 hour shifts.

I can't remember the last time I worked five shifts in a row, and that is a painful thought to consider, lol! My current schedule is 3 on, 2 off, 2 on, 3 off, 2 on, etc., which gives me a 3-day weekend off every other week, and a 3-day weekend to work. Those 3-day work weekends aren't too bad, but the 3-day weekends off are really nice ;)

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WhereIsMyCallBell has 6 years experience.

2,383 Visitors; 65 Posts

Personally I am much more burnt out and fatigued at the end of an 8hr, 5 day week than working 3 12's in a row. That 3rd 12 hr day can be a bit** sometimes if you've had a crazy, busy stretch. But the time off it affords me is very worth it. I also agree with the saving on wear and tear on my vehicle (and ga$) these days. 12 hr shifts rock as far as I am concerned. Plus 8 hr days can often turn into 9 or 10 hours if you have had alot of admits, incidents, deaths etc. Like you said LOTS of variables to consider.

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Good Morning, Gil has 3 years experience and specializes in Rehab, critical care.

14,095 Visitors; 607 Posts

If I had to work 8 hour shifts, day or night, especially night, though, I'd probably be a bedside nurse for all of a week. No way. Anything other than bedside nursing, 8 hour shifts are fine by me, but for me personally, I need that time away from the bedside (don't get me wrong, I find nursing rewarding, but only when I work 3 shifts a week, max. Really, it would be even more rewarding, more peachy fuzzy feelings would occur if I worked part time, hopefully at some point I can do that, not right now, though lol). Also, more able to get everything that needs to be accomplished in 12 hours.

Worked 8 hour shifts 3-11PM at my first job for a few months before asking to go to 12's. Hated it. Was always at work.

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

1 Follower; 228 Articles; 316,449 Visitors; 27,607 Posts

I once worked 8-hour night shifts. My schedule was Monday through Friday from 10pm to 6am.

I would not voluntarily agree to work this schedule again unless I was about to become homeless because it felt bleak and isolating to me. My two days off were, in reality, reduced to one night off because I spent Saturday recovering. I spent my afternoons and evenings sleeping. While working 8-hour night shifts, my life alternated between sleep and work with nothing in between.

I now work 12-hour night shifts and love the fact that I have 4 nights off per week.

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LadyFree28 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma.

75,268 Visitors; 8,427 Posts

No way. Not 5 in a row. I did 8 hr nights buying PT and never more than three in a row.

Nope

^This!!!

I cannot, canNOT survive past three days in a row. I feel as though its too much!

My current schedule has been three 12s in a row, on nights, and so far, I recuperate pretty well. My previous job, I worked 4 days with at least 1 day off, or a short shift in between, yet by the time the weekend came, I was recuperating.

To me, the days together with shorter shifts are more enduring than shorter days with longer shifts. If done right, the recuperation is shorter, and work-life balance can work.

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5,674 Visitors; 151 Posts

I might do 4 10's, but not 5 8's. Nuh-uh.

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turnforthenurse has 7 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in ER, progressive care.

36,338 Visitors; 3,364 Posts

Absolutely not. I would much rather do three 12's in a row and have four days off.

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red2003xlt has 5 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Addiction / Pain Management.

4,984 Visitors; 224 Posts

I work in a Crisis Stabilization Unit of a Psychiatric Hospital. I work 12's on the weekends and 8's during the week.

I take the 8's during the week. Given the nature of this unit the 12's can lead to complacency at the end of the shift. Generally this is when a incident occurs.

I'll take the 8's

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

64,310 Visitors; 6,165 Posts

I think it's a difficult question to answer because you're using a premise that has been disproven; that 8 hour night shifts are better.

There are a few Nurses who prefer 8 hour nights, but overall they're inferior to 12's. They're more likely to cause errors, injuries, and even cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. So I think a more accurate way to ask this question would be; if it wasn't for the negative safety and health effects of 8 hour nights...

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Bortaz, RN has 10 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in CDI Coordinator; Formerly NICU.

1 Article; 35,247 Visitors; 2,626 Posts

No way. I never want to work more than my 3 nights in a row.

The schedule I submit each month is as follows:

Work 3

Off 2

Work 3

Off 6

Work 3

Off 2

Work 3

Off 6

Etc.

The 6 days off every two weeks allows me to remain a human and to participate in my marriage. My wife works M-F 8-5, so this is the only way we can have any meaningful time together.

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