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No more 12 hour shifts?

Posted

Specializes in medicine, oncology, telemetry.

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MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

There is a contingent of nursing 'leaders' who, for reasons I still don't understand, have been pushing to switch to 8-hour shifts. They've been using really badly done research, much of it so flawed it's hard to believe it's not intentional. For instance, from an article referred to in a previous post The Nursing Debate: 8-Hour Shifts vs. 12-Hour Shifts "nurses who work 12.5 hours or longer are three times more likely to make an error in patient care". This is probably the quoted "stat" used in favor 8-hour shifts, it comes from an Ann Rodgers study who found that number of self-reported errors and near-errors was higher "per shift" in 12-hour shifts compared to an 8-hour shift, but they didn't realize their numbers actually showed a slightly lower error risk by nurses working 12-hour shifts compared to 8-hour shifts even though the "per shift" rate of error/near errors was higher. I curious if anyone can figure out why that is?

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

Because they didn't pay attention in their nursing research class?

If they stop nurses from working 12's then they need to stop dr's from working 48-72 hr shifts... just sayin'. I know that if my company offered 12's I would be so very excited! Right now I work 8's and those 2 days off are nothing. Especially since I work 11p-7a. I feel like I only get 1 day off. I would much rather have the 12s.

THIS^^^^

I work 5 8 hour night shifts and HATE it.

QuarterLife88, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Neuroscience. Has 7 years experience.

Well hopefully I will be out of bedside nursing before this comes to fruition. I kind of hate 12 hour shifts because after the 8 hr mark I do NOT give hoot anymore. I work nights. My body is taxed by that point. At the same time I kind of love 12 hour shifts because no way in hell could you pay me to be in a hospital 5 days a week. Yuck.

Emergent, RN

Has 27 years experience.

My hospital did away with 8 hr shifts a couple years ago. I think it makes scheduling simpler Additionally, it makes it harder on older more expensive nurses who can only handle the eights. Another way to push them out the door.

12 hr shifts definitely make night shift doable for someone who doesn't want to become a total nocturnal being. I couldn't handle nights if I had to do 5 a week.

Many hospitals in my area will not allow you to work 3-12's in a row to prevent fatigue.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 14 years experience.

12 hr shifts definitely make night shift doable for someone who doesn't want to become a total nocturnal being. I couldn't handle nights if I had to do 5 a week.

I agree with your highly salient point. I worked five nights per week from 10:00pm to 6:30am several years ago and had the most isolated existence imaginable. All I did was work and sleep. The two nights off per week had not been enough to recover.

I now work three 12-hour night shifts per week and the difference is amazing.

duskyjewel

Specializes in hospice.

You can have my 12s when you pry them from my cold dead fingers.

brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

Even the VA is starting to offer 12 hour shifts when they used to just have 8 hour shifts precisely over safety concerns re long shifts. The hospital systems in my area offer a variety of shifts, both 12 and 8 hour are available. But most people that work 8 hour shifts only work 32 hours, not 40. I think hospitals prefer 32 or 36 hours because it helps keep the overtime down. I used to work 32 hours, but find the 3 12's more convenient and better paying re to hours and differentials. I prefer to work only 2 12's in a row and 2-3 days off in between, I feel more rested and less stressed that way. Plus if it's a bad day/assignment you know you only have to get thru one more shift; whereas as an 8 hr person I worked 4 shifts in a row. The downside is weekends and holidays having to work 12 hours and seeing the 8 hour person sent home early instead of giving the 12 hour person low census! I would think mothers in general would prefer 8 hour shifts to be able to spend time with their children. When I work 12's all I do is work, shower, sleep and eat a quick lunch and then back to work. I don't know how all the mothers do it, esp single mothers of young children! Obviously there isn't much time to sleep.

Edited by brandy1017

brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

I agree with your highly salient point. I worked five nights per week from 10:00pm to 6:30am several years ago and had the most isolated existence imaginable. All I did was work and sleep. The two nights off per week had not been enough to recover.

I now work three 12-hour night shifts per week and the difference is amazing.

I think PM's is the worst shift for isolation, work when others are off, awake when others are sleeping and off when everyone is working. Unless you're young in the party/drinking scene I wouldn't recommend PM's. Where I work, PM nurses are the most likely to get mandated to 16 hour shifts if nights is short, yet at the same time most likely to be sent home early if the census drops!

duskyjewel

Specializes in hospice.

I would think mothers in general would prefer 8 hour shifts to be able to spend time with their children. When I work 12's all I do is work, shower, sleep and eat a quick lunch and then back to work. I don't know how all the mothers do it, esp single mothers of young children! Obviously there isn't much time to sleep.

Actually I'm a mother of five children from high school senior down to 2nd grader, and the thought of working 8s horrifies me. The fact that I am a mother and want be an involved one is why I work night shift. I get full time hours while working only 3 days a week and I sleep while my kids are at school. I can sleep six hours and then get up and pick them up from school, make dinner, help with homework, and have a little family time before going back to work. I usually don't work 3 in a row which is nice, but I can still handle it when I do, and sometimes I even pick up an extra shift for a little overtime.

The summer gets a little dicey sometimes but we find ways to make it work. My husband works the standard Monday to Friday 8-4:30 job, so he's home when I'm not. Overall I think this is the best way for me to be a working mom and still be the mom I want and need to be.

HyperSaurus, RN, BSN

Specializes in NICU. Has 8 years experience.

I work 8 hour shifts, 32 hours a week, which averages out to 5 shifts 1 week and 3 shifts the next. It's not too bad

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 14 years experience.

I think PM's is the worst shift for isolation, work when others are off, awake when others are sleeping and off when everyone is working. Unless you're young in the party/drinking scene I wouldn't recommend PM's.

I've been there, done that and wouldn't voluntarily do evenings again unless I was on the immediate verge of homelessness with no other foreseeable options.

I worked the 3:00pm to 11:00pm shift five days a week as a new grad in 2006. My run of working evenings only lasted six weeks before I landed a sweet weekend Baylor position in which I received 40 hours of pay, full benefits and five days off in a row for working two doubles every Saturday and Sunday.

PSYCHEE

Specializes in Psychiatric, Geriatric. Has 3 years experience.

I'm working 5 days, 8 eight hour shifts a week. I HATE it. I used to work 8s but when I was only 32 hours at another facility (with a M/w/f and alt weekends schedule) it was tolerable. I didn't have a lot of time off, but I could frequently pick up a double one day and get off another. Here, at the state hospital, there is ZERO flexibility, and when 16s are mandated I still need to come in the next day because it's ALWAYS on a weekend and we never have any coverage sunday for me to stay home. This is dangerous. I've recently totaled my car and someone else's. I now have no way to get to work because my boyfriend is in grad school and can't always drive me. I work 7 days in a row in order to have a consistent schedule, otherwise it fluctuates and that is not possible because I have to see various doctors who have appointments out in advance up to 3 months... this has damaged my health, my finances, my mental stability, my relationships, everything. This scheduling is inhumane. But I'm off on a tangent.

I've recently been to a few 12 hour shift interviews and have two more to go. I'm so desperate to get out of here that, even though the job I want "the most" is the last of my interviews, I'm VERY tempted to take whoever gives me an offer first so I can get out of here. My social life is destroyed, my grades are suffering... don't commit to 5x 8hours, ladies and gents. =( I love my actual job, but this schedule is hellish.

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience.

In my system, we have 4, 8, and 12 hour shifts.

The new grads love 12s until they become mothers and can't find childcare and want 8s when they return from their year of mat leave.

Our union contracts state how many shifts we can work in a row and specify how many hours we must have between scheduled shifts. The recent review of rotations made the 12 horrible. There used to be some nice long stretches of that allowed the singles to travel without touching their vacation time. Now, very few have more than 3 on, 3 off and it's killing them.

I'm at the point where I'll do 8s only. If they need people for 12s they can pay me the OT to stay.

I'm a new nurse, mom of four, working overnight 12s. Love it. Our hospital has been phasing out 8 hour shifts, though many employees are still working them. I really like my three 12s.

firstinfamily, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Having worked both 8 hrs and 12 hrs I can see both sides. Apparently some of the rationale for 12 hour shifts were pt continuity of care, better staffing consistency, I don't think at the time staff fatigue or lack of meals was even considered. How many facilities have cafeteria services at night? How many 12 hr shifts turn into 14 or more by the time you leave? I think the work load has not changed any, there is still the same amount of work to be done in 8 hours that there would be in 12. I would like to see how 10 hours would work. I am returning to 12 hr night shifts in about another week, so may have a different opinion at that time. I do believe nurses need more than just work to live full lives. We give so much to others, we do need to give a little to ourselves and our families. That is next to impossible when you work 5 days a week. I don't think 12 hour shifts are going away any time soon!!

PSYCHEE

Specializes in Psychiatric, Geriatric. Has 3 years experience.

Considering my long-term boyfriend just had a vasectomy and we are very, very childless, motherhood is not an obstacle I'll have to deal with soon. Or ever. =)