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Inspired by a recent post- Does anyone else get comments, snide remarks , esp from non nurses for working "only 36 hours a week" or 40etc? I realize many in other fields work 60-80 and that is expected. One of the reasons I went into nursing was so that i would ONLY have to work 36 hours a week . I work nights and I am so tired after 4-5 twelves every week or so, when I do that. It seems impossible to have a life outside of work, because on nights a night off, is usually spent sleeping that whole day , then up at night to do nothing of much value. Remember 12are actually 13s , get there at 630pm, earliest I can leave is 730am. etc. Do these people in other fields that work 80 hour weeks not have a life noutside of work? IF i work nights I need to sleep as much as possible. I did a very small amount of office work, and some did do about 60 hours a week, most of it sitting at a desk, which is less exhausting, at least for me, and the stress is no where near that in nursing. Any input from those of you who did it in other jobs? Is there a difference?

Cuddleswithpuddles

Has 11 years experience.

No, I can honestly say I have not gotten any snide remarks about my work hours. Mostly I get curiosity. Once in a while, a person reacts in envy because I am able to work 3-4 days/week. And, yes, I do think that is very sweet. I will gladly take any snide remarks for making a comfortable living with a fair and manageable work schedule hehe.

I used to have jobs that involve a lot of sitting. I came home way more achy and exhausted from those jobs than I ever have in floor nursing. Funny how that works out, no? I guess I am just one of those people who need to move, move, move.

I know plenty of people who work insane amount of hours but still make time for their families and other hobbies. Conversely, there are those who seem to have no life and passions in and outside of their place of business. We all have the same amount of hours in a week. What choose to do with it is the difference.

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 10 years experience.

There are a few people I know who work 5 days a week and say it "must be so nice" to only work 3 days per week. But then I point out that my 12 hour shifts usually become 13-14 hour shifts, I have to work weekends and holidays. I point out that when I work I'm up before breakfast and not home until after dinner. Whereas they get every weekend and holiday off, and get to be home in time to have dinner with their families every night. That always gets them thinking about whether 12 hour shifts are really so great.

Most of my friends are also nurses, though, so they understand.

Good Morning, Gil

Specializes in Rehab, critical care. Has 3 years experience.

Most people who are not nurses think it's nice only to work 3 days a week, but they also know that I work night shift, holidays, and every other weekend, so those same people are not envious. They know what we do for a living, so that's why they didn't become nurses. People who are motivated by money only will not choose nursing since they can make a higher salary, with less demanding work in other professions (if they're looking for at least a 4 year degree; there are those that choose nursing since you can make a good wage and support a family and only take 2 years to complete a program, but I would argue those same people want to help people or they would choose welding or something else that would only take 2 years to complete that is not direct patient care).

If I only cared about money, I would have majored in business. That is by far the most lucrative career for time invested (not saying that all business people are power or money hungry; there are many very philanthropic business people, very caring, but just saying that those that are interested in making a lot of money will opt for that route). Many nurses choose nursing primarily because they want to make a difference, but also because they can make a pretty good wage, job market is good (though tough in many areas, still better for nurses overall than many other careers right now), flexibility (various options, not being locked into one area if you don't enjoy it, etc).

I hear you there, but I think it's more what drives people that shapes what career they will choose: money, power, etc, but then there's plenty of people that just end up in certain jobs because that's what was available, and they needed to make ends meet.

JBudd, MSN

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

Nope. 'Cause I only work (at hospital) 24 hours a week. :yelclap::w00t:

I actually get it a lot. But from the same 2 people. One of my friends is always asking me to do things for her because I ONLY work 3 days a week. Nope, sorry! Watch your own kids or hire a babysitter. Um she is teacher and has the whole summer off and all school vacations, holidays, and snow days. And my mother in law, who tells everyone how lazy I am because I ONLY work 3 days a week but when she calls I am always sleeping, even at 2 in the afternoon! I work nights, in case you were wondering.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

Sometimes, from a few people. In fact today, my friend was surprised that I was still in pajamas at 9pm. I work nights, and this is my sleep day. He knows this, but he doesn't understand how tiring 12 hour shifts are.

dudette10, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 10 years experience.

Remember 12are actually 13s , get there at 630pm, earliest I can leave is 730am. etc. Do these people in other fields that work 80 hour weeks not have a life noutside of work? IF i work nights I need to sleep as much as possible. I did a very small amount of office work, and some did do about 60 hours a week, most of it sitting at a desk, which is less exhausting, at least for me, and the stress is no where near that in nursing. Any input from those of you who did it in other jobs? Is there a difference?

It depends on the type of office work you are talking about. If it's an office where you do tasks, rather than project work, it's not that stressful. If you work in an office where you are responsible for projects, deadlines, coordinating other team members, it is quite stressful.

I was a project manager for a very large company everyone has heard of. I easily worked 60 hour weeks, took my laptop home, worked weekends from home, etc.

In nursing, you have x amount of hours to get a job done, then SOMETHING HAPPENS, and it throws you completely off. Yes, you reprioritize, but all those things that go interrupted still have to be done.

Both are stressful, but in very different ways. The nice thing about nursing is that when you are done, you go home, and that is it, but it's little consolation when things are chaotic while you are working.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

I don't get any remarks about working "only" X hours. I get more remarks about my having to work 1500-2300 on a Saturday night while the rest of the free world is seemingly out having fun :)

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

actually i end up getting a lot of snide remarks from nurses at my pd hospital job. I work as an ADN and often just fill in here and there - so it's very common for me to come in for a 4 hr shift. So when the nurses say "must be nice" or "wish i could work a princess shift like that" about my 7p to 11p shift on a friday night, they seem to forget that i've been up since 5:30 and have already put in a full day.

Sorry, if this is a tad off topic:

I feel your pain, well I should say my husband does. He works in a factory, 12 hour shifts Monday thru Friday, plus another 6-8 hours on Saturday. He's done that for over a year, and only has Sundays off. People always talk about how great the pay checks are, which is true. BUT I would love it if my husband could spend more time at home or at least have two days off in a row.

I think nurses who work 12 hour shifts, especially 12 hour night shifts deserve the biggest praise and respect!

when i tell people i work three 12-hour shifts a week, they somehow have it in their minds that i am a part-time employee. they focus on the THREE and not on the total number of hours (that is spent mostly on my feet!). i wish they'd do the math :icon_roll

Cuddleswithpuddles

Has 11 years experience.

I don't get any remarks about working "only" X hours. I get more remarks about my having to work 1500-2300 on a Saturday night while the rest of the free world is seemingly out having fun :)

I used to work weekends exclusively. I would sometimes complain about my situation until I got a few weekends off. I went about my usual off-day activities and was amazed at how crowded everything is on the weekends. I kept looking around and asking "Who are you, what are you doing here and why are there so many of you?!" Thankfully I am in Southern California where there is no shortage of things to do on the weekdays. I'd rather have fun when the rest of the world is stuck at work hehe.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

Thankfully I am in Southern California where there is no shortage of things to do on the weekdays. I'd rather have fun when the rest of the world is stuck at work hehe.

When I lived in NYC, I'd work 2000-0800 Fri, Sat and Sun. Then I moved to 8s: 1700-0100 5x/week (various days). Personal and social life never suffered because like SoCal living in NYC made it possible to have a life any day (and time) of the week :)

diva rn, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, ICU, Hospice, Mgmt, DON. Has 18 years experience.

I used to work weekends exclusively. I would sometimes complain about my situation until I got a few weekends off. I went about my usual off-day activities and was amazed at how crowded everything is on the weekends. I kept looking around and asking "Who are you, what are you doing here and why are there so many of you?!" Thankfully I am in Southern California where there is no shortage of things to do on the weekdays. I'd rather have fun when the rest of the world is stuck at work hehe.

I am so with you there....I worked the same 3 weekend 12's (nights) for many years-by CHOICE-and I loved it.

Now I am stuck...yes, stuck in a 9-5pm case management office type job doing it 5 days a week!!!!! and I HATE it....I want my twelve hour night shifts back....

Honesly, when grouping them all together, I would be really tired that morning after the last shift....but then whoa! 4 days in a row off!!

I would walk out of the hospital around 8am on Mon am and not have to be back until 7pm on Friday...I never felt like I was working!

It never bothered me when someone said anything about only working 3 days....I would laugh and say, are you jealous....anyone who says something like that is ignorant about what we actually do in our profession anyway, so it really doesn't matter if we do it 3 days, 5 days or 7 days a week!

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

I get the remarks from my fellow nurses because I work one day a week per diem and do not have another job.

My kids are in school and my husband makes good money, all the reason to keep envy at bay by not talking too much about it.

NBMom1225

Specializes in Surgical/MedSurg/Oncology/Hospice.

I work three 12 hr night shift a week, and my ex used to give me a hard time constantly about how I "only" worked three days a week, yet he was unemployed and did NOTHING in regards to housework, grocery shopping, or driving kids places...one of the MANY reasons he is now my EX! Lol, current boyfriend is wonderful and always says he wouldn't trade my 3 days a week for his 60+ hr/wk job for anything, that my job/shift is much harder...and he even does the errands and picks up the kids! :)

Edited by NBMom1225
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classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

people who do not work 12 hr shifts are clueless about the stress of them. They think you only work "3 days" and relate it to their "5 days". Who cares what they think? If you could work 1 hour a week and be paid full time they would all be so jealous.