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12 Hour Shifts Issue

Nurses   (1,618 Views 25 Comments)
by Jordan1927 Jordan1927 (Member)

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I get up at 4:45.  Yes, it’s hard, but I only do it 3 days a week.  My body is very used to it now.  I even get up at 6-6:30 on my days off.  I’ve never been a morning person.  Dayshift has kind of turned me into one.

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

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The fact that you are struggling with both getting up early and 12 hour shifts puts you in a really tough spot. You need to decide which one is worse for you. If the 12 hour shifts are worse for you, then you could find a job that only requires 8's but the downside to that is you're waking up early 5 days a week. It seems like in either scenario/option, you are going to be dealing with one thing you don't like.

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On 7/2/2019 at 4:21 AM, Jordan1927 said:

So I have a dilemma. Im having ALOT of trouble getting used to the 12 hours shifts, waking up at 5 sumthn to be to work at 6:45. I love nursing and I know I wanna be a maternity nurse, but my big unwillingness to get up that early and go to work for 12 hours is a loud elephant in the room. But I don’t know what to do or how to fix it. Can anyone give suggestions or advice??

The only advice I can give is to have a sleep routine. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on your days off. Your body will eventually get used to it. I don't even need to set an alarm, my body just wakes up around the same time. 

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Hi Jordan!  It may take some time to get used to your shift.  I have worked day shift, night shift, 8 hrs and 12 hrs.  It usually takes my body some adjustment period until I loose that zombie feeling when getting used to a new shift.

 Also, you should think about what is comfortable for your body?  What time of day do you get your best work done?  Mornings? afternoons? Evenings?  And what is it about the 12 hrs that is giving you trouble?  Is it that it seems like a long time to be at work, or is it orthopedic type problems like hip/knee/back pain, or family schedule with kids etc?  Home health can have more comfortable/family friendly hours, but more days and on call days.  Med Surg nursing will make 12 hrs seem like 15 minutes if the day seems long.

 After a horse accident, where I injured my hip, 12 hour shifts began to be very painful for me.  I dropped to 2 - 12 hr shifts per week which helped; but, then I started doing private duty pediatric nursing on the side and just moved over to that full time as I really liked it.  The pediatric private duty felt like it wasn’t even work for me, it just seemed like what I naturally was made to do.  I guess what I am trying to say is that nursing is such a wide and varied field. If you take the time to figure out what type of job will make you happy, I am sure you will find a nursing job that feeds your soul and your pocket book at the same time!  Best of luck to you, keep us updated!

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Lipoma has <1 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Emergency Nursing.

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I was miserable on orientation where I was doing 7a-7p....

Quickly signed up for 3p-3a shifts and I am MUCH MUCH happier. 

On occasion I'm signed up for 7p-7a....and I hate that shift as well.

See if your hospital has mid-shift availability. If not 5 8s is your only viable option....but I personally wouldn't want to be at work 5 days a week.

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9 minutes ago, Lipoma said:

I was miserable on orientation where I was doing 7a-7p....

Quickly signed up for 3p-3a shifts and I am MUCH MUCH happier. 

On occasion I'm signed up for 7p-7a....and I hate that shift as well.

See if your hospital has mid-shift availability. If not 5 8s is your only viable option....but I personally wouldn't want to be at work 5 days a week.

3p to 3a, or 4p or 5p to 4a or 5a, sound like a wonderful 12 hour shift option.

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Lipoma has <1 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Emergency Nursing.

2,158 Visitors; 186 Posts

14 minutes ago, caliotter3 said:

3p to 3a, or 4p or 5p to 4a or 5a, sound like a wonderful 12 hour shift option.

It is! My ER also has 9a-9p, 11a-11p (both still a tad too early for my likings)....neighboring ER has 3p-3a, 5p-5a, and the standard 7p-7a....

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

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13 minutes ago, caliotter3 said:

3p to 3a, or 4p or 5p to 4a or 5a, sound like a wonderful 12 hour shift option.

In my experience these are some of the highest demand shifts, there was a 3p to 3a shift in the ED that opened up recently, we're union so it goes by length of time at the facility, everyone applying for the position had more than 10 years, the nurse who got it had 21 years with the company.

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5 minutes ago, MunoRN said:

In my experience these are some of the highest demand shifts, there was a 3p to 3a shift in the ED that opened up recently, we're union so it goes by length of time at the facility, everyone applying for the position had more than 10 years, the nurse who got it had 21 years with the company.

Glad to see that 21 years with the same employer is good for something.  Good for that nurse!

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

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What about getting into lactation consulting, if you want more regular hours but want to be in maternity?

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Try waking up up later in the day to be at work at 7pm. You may be a night worker and not know it. I like to stay up all night so it makes no sense for me to work a dayshift position. I also am not a morning person. I feel my best later in the day, and also I don't like dealing with morning traffic.

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Have you looked into private duty nursing? You may find some more flexibility with scheduling. 

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