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More than 7 working hrs a day = bad for your heart...

Nurses   (2,670 Views 14 Comments)
by Crux1024 Crux1024 (Member) Member

Crux1024 specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, Emergency, SAFE.

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fungez has 19 years experience.

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Oh, I believe it. 12 hour shifts about kill me. By hour 10 I'm ready for a nap and a bottle. Whisky, rum, I don't care what kind of bottle.

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9 Posts; 1,233 Profile Views

The research shows that there are more errors committed by nurses who work 12 hour shifts. I hate them and think they are horrible. When I did work them, I NEVER got off the unit on time, making it more like 13-14 hrs. However, the majority of nurses LOVE them and get very angry when you point out the negative aspects. Management loves them too (they make it easier to staff a unit).

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CaLLaCoDe is a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiology, Oncology, Medsurge.

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i agree, 12 hour shifts are a lot to handle, especially for those of us who are middle aged.

thank goodness we're only required to put three days a week in; however, it depends on how your schedule looks: lqqk-- working 3 days on 2 days off 2 days on, is how some schedules work out if you combine a two week period. of course you have a string of days off in there, but it's a killer @ twelve hours a day. so when people say, "you only work three days a week!?" we don't necessarily work 3 days a week!

Edited by CaLLaCoDe

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llg has 42 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

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I know that many people love the 12-hour shifts, but I remember the olden days when 8 hours was the norm. I think a lot of our profession's problems escalated with the switch to 12-hour shifts. It changed the whole dynamic of the interactions between staff members and seems to have intensified a lot of the interpersonal issues. It also effected our work patterns, educational patterns, etc. in ways which are not possitive.

But I think it would be hard to go back to the 8-hour shifts because so many people are used to the 12-hour shifts and would be angry to make the switch.

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blondy2061h has 15 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Oncology.

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The article just says working past 7 hours in bad. It didn't say how many hours a week they were working. If they were working 5 11 hour shifts a week, that's a lot different from 3 12 hr shifts. I wonder if it was actually the length of the day, or the number of total weekly hours, that was the actual issue.

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BluegrassRN has 14 years experience.

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We're all gonna die someday, Lord/We're all gonna die someday/Mama's on pills daddy's over the hill/but we're all gonna die someday.

So, work is going to kill me, drinking is going to kill me, working night shift is going to kill me, eating red meat/pesticide laden veggies/hydrogenated fats/high fructose corn syrup is going to kill me.

If I'm going to die anyway, I might as well work my 3-12s and have more time off.

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CaLLaCoDe is a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiology, Oncology, Medsurge.

1,173 Posts; 10,928 Profile Views

re bluegrassRN

I agree, it depends on how good you are at handling the stress, but to ignore the dangers of ingesting red meat or non organic potatoes may be a quality of life thing rather than taking the easy way out and say well, "It's all gonna kill me after all" !

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i believe it, i love my unit but a 12hr day wears you out! then you go home (you don't get out until 30min after you get off then 30 more min to drive home), eat, fall into bed, get 6hrs then you are back, by the end of my 3 days i want to puke just walking into the unit...after the long shift you don't get enough "veg" time for your brain..

when i was interviewing i spoke with several managers that had 8hr options on their units because they said there were lots fewer med errors, fewer patient falls, & people tended to stay longer when 8hr shifts were an option. one lady said that the young unmarried want to work 12s but when they have kids they leave to go to other units so they can work 8s so she started offering 8s & her turnover went down by 50%!! i personally would like to do 11p-7a but alas, my unit only offers 12s so it's 7p-7a for me...i have friends that do 11p-7a & they get to have dinner with their families & everything before they go to work. i don't think i will have that sort of time...

i am intensely grateful for my job though..i tell my kids everytime they complain that we are very very lucky.

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BluegrassRN has 14 years experience.

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re bluegrassRN

I agree, it depends on how good you are at handling the stress, but to ignore the dangers of ingesting red meat or non organic potatoes may be a quality of life thing rather than taking the easy way out and say well, "It's all gonna kill me after all" !

It was tongue in cheek. It's okay to laugh a little. Did you know that laughter helps your health? Can I eat the red meat and the non-organic veggies if I laugh about it every day?

So then, what's the solution? No more night shift? Because that is bad for my heart AND is going to give me cancer and make me fat. Hospitals will now close at 11pm, and will resume business at 7am.

My point was, a lot of things are bad for you. You pick and choose what risks you are willing to take and how you are going to minimize your risk factors. Give me a 12 hour shift anyday over an 8 hour one. The stress of working 5 days a week would surely kill me.

And anyhow, my real motivation was to plant that earworm in everyone's head. I sincerely hope you all have that song running through your head, because it immediately popped into mine the minute I read the original post. If I have to suffer through that, the rest of you can, too. Just sharing the love.

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4,119 Posts; 40,526 Profile Views

Twelve hour shifts are not a modern invention. Bellevue Hospital in NYC had them ages ago, (IIRC back in the 1930's or maybe 1950's, would have to look it up, do know it was when the school of nursing was around), then switched to eight hour rotations.

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2 Articles; 5,682 Posts; 50,701 Profile Views

12-hr days rock!!

With all the other risk factors around, I'll keep the long shifts and accept the marginal increase in risk. I'm sure I can more than offset it by not lugging around the extra 30-100 lbs that so many people do.

12-hr shifts are the biggest perq I can see in being a nurse.

I'd like to see the marginal risk of 12-hr shifts compared to so many other risk factors (BMI, diet, exercise, drinking, and smoking).

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