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12- Hour Shifts

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by hygienejunkie hygienejunkie (New) New

just a quick curiosity question...for those of you who work the three twelve hour shifts...how hard is it?? i mean, when you get out..are you totally drained?? i do not have children or anything else for that matter to work on....not like most other people..

during a shift...do you get a break at all?? is it worth working the three days and getting it over with or working five eights?? any infor would be great...thanks agian

Linda

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Definitely worth the 3 12 hour shifts. I loved it - yes I was very tired at the end of the 12 but those 4 days off are so worth it. You do get breaks but you can't count on it - much depends where you work.

I also love the 12-hour shifts. I work nights, every Friday, Sat, Sun to save on daycare and spend more time with family during the week. My nights go super fast, I usually eat while I chart. The more experienced nurses have more time for breaks, but since I am new, I am slower and need pretty all of my time for patient care and charting. I love what I do for the most part, so I don't mind that I don't get much of a break.:heartbeat

diveRN

Specializes in ER, PCU, ICU.

I work 6, 12 hour nights and then take a scheduled 8 days off. Nights are SOOO laid back where I work. I'll often work 2 or 3 extra shifts a week, especially when the wife is engaged with projects. She works from home, so I get to see her when I wake up. Nice thing about this schedule is that when I take 6 PTO days, I actually get 22 days off. If I take 9 PTO days, I can take 29 consecutive days off. I try to do this at least twice a year.

When I'm on my 6 day stretch, I usually go down to the Cafe about midnight and grab some food to bring back to the unit. I eat while I'm going through prog notes, procedural notes, etc. No family, no administration, no docs. Then between 01 and 03, I'll take a 1 hour break where I leave the unit and head to a little used room on the floor above mine where I can put my feet up and watch TV or read a book. I'll lay my head down on nights where I'm really busy, but rarely will I sleep.

Oncoming shift gets there at 0645 and most of the time I'm done with report by 0715. I live 3 minutes from where I work so I'm usually in bed and snoozing by 0800. Sleep to 1500 and then up, answer email, go for good mtn bike ride or do a load of laundry. I may even lounge in the pool for an hour or two on a hot day. Shower by 1700, light snack afterwards... then put my feet up until 1830 when I head back and do it again.

In an 8-day off stretch where I don't work OT, I rarely go in for anything. I'll occasionally sign up for callback, but when I'm off... I want to be off.

Wouldn't have it any other way than to work 12 hour shifts.

CABG patch kid, BSN, RN

Specializes in Telemetry, CCU.

I love working 12's, I do work nights so I feel like my first day off is kinda lost to sleep, but I have a pretty good social life and often have plans with family and friends on my nights off. Some people like to get on a "daytime" routine on their days off but I personally hate that. I still stay up late and sleep on late on my off days, but I still manage to get quite a bit done. I do laundry, research things online, shop online, watch TV and movies, read magazines, pack lunches for the week, etc etc. There's a few things I can't do on my nights off but I manage. There are times when I feel "off" from the rest of the world because of my weird schedule, but I can't imagine working day shift. Oh, and the major downside are the mandatory meetings, always during the daytime, that my manager has once every month or two. Other than that I love it. I think working 5 8's would be too much.

shellsgogreen

Specializes in ICU.

3 x12 hr day shifts for me - i doubt i could do 5 day eight hrs now, as after a 12 hr shift on my crazy busy floor, i am so exhausted that the next day i need to be a zombie for a bit before i regroup and go back. :uhoh21:

racing-mom4, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/ER.

I work every Saturday and Sunday for weekend reward program so I get paid for 36 hours while only working 24. I then pick up on Weds nights 12 hours. So I get paid for working 48 hours a week.

On the rare occasion I work an 8 hour shift I feel like I am working a half day. and I always feel behind or rushed. By working 12 hours I seem to stay more on track.

I love working 12s. I am tired when I get off because I dont sleep well during the day, but I feel by working nights and mainly weekends I not only get more money, I also get more time with my family. I really consider myself a stay at home mom even though I am working 36 hours a week.

If I want to go on a field trip with the kids I can accommodate my sleep sched. If I have a child home from school because they are sick I dont have to stress about what to do, as I will be home during the day. I can take my kids to the dentist during the day vs trying to get one of the coveted after 5pm slots.

12 hour nights works for me.

RainDreamer, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 16 years experience.

After working 3 12s for almost 3 years now, I can't imagine working 5 8s!!

Sure, the 12s can be long ...... and it takes a bit to get used to it at first, but our shifts are pretty steady, so it's over before you know it. Some shifts are busier than others and I am just ready to crash when I get home, but more often than not, I don't feel too drained. Once I'm done with 3 in a row though, I'm ready for a nice sleep :)

And oh yeah, you get breaks. On not-too-crazy nights we take an hour lunch and usually a couple breaks throughout in addition to that.

yellow finch, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 4 years experience.

I really, really like working 12 hour shifts especially now that I'm dayshift. Nights took away 5 days out of the week for me and I never felt rested.

The best part about 12 hour days is I'm there from start to finish. I'm there first thing in the morning for the patients, get to see and interact with the docs, NPs, PAs, PT/OT, etc... throughout the shift, and know exactly what's going on with the care of the patient.

On my days off I go to school, clinicals, and enjoy hiking with my dogs or kayaking.

When I graduate and start working as a NP I'm going to miss the 3-12s. *sigh*

Little Panda RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Assisted Living Nurse Manager.

:up::up: thumbs up for 12 hour shifts. I love 3 12's. I feel like I actually have a life!!!!!

southlandshari

Specializes in PCT - ER, Ortho, Neuro, Med-Surg. Has 4 years experience.

just a quick curiosity question...for those of you who work the three twelve hour shifts...how hard is it?? i mean, when you get out..are you totally drained?? i do not have children or anything else for that matter to work on....not like most other people..

during a shift...do you get a break at all?? is it worth working the three days and getting it over with or working five eights?? any infor would be great...thanks agian

Linda

I worked three 12's a week as a tech (7p - 7a) for more than a year and I echo a lot of the positive things people here have said - specifically because you said you don't have any children and I assume you are finished with school (for the time being, anyway).

What didn't work for me was being away from my daughter three evenings a week. I know it doesn't sound like much, but when you are missing soccer games, school concerts and half of the school week's homework, it feels pretty significant.

I changed floors and hours (ortho to ER, 7p-7a to 11p-7a) and am much happier and find the routine better for me, my school schedule and my family needs.

Different strokes and all that!

:)

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