Considering moving to FT 8 hour shifts, please advise...

  1. Hello all,

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me. I know that ultimately this is my decision but I an nervous in several areas of my transition.

    I am considering a job in a hospice in-unit. There, the nurses work 8 hour shifts instead of 12 hours. Currently I work 3, 12 hour night shifts a week. What I am considering is moving to evenings 5, 8 hours shifts a week. Does anyone here do this or know of someone who does it? I am a bit terrified at the notion of spending my workweek in the hospital like a "Normal" job. Nursing is a demanding career and the beauty of 12 hour shifts is that you're not in the hospital that much. On the other hand, you don't have to recover from an 8 hour shift like you do from 12 hours. I know it takes me a good day just to catch up on sleep and then the next day I'm fine.

    If you could spare any words of wisdom or encouragement, I could use it. With all my heart I want to give hospice my every good effort, but there are a few details making me nervous. :uhoh21:

    Anxious in waiting,
  2. Visit JacelRN profile page

    About JacelRN

    Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 224; Likes: 3
    Registered Nurse


  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    I don't think five 8-hour shifts per week is a good idea. It's just too dang hard on us physically and mentally, at least for floor nurses........that's why so many like the 12-hour shifts.

    Me, I work four 8-hour shifts and am considered full-time for benefits purposes. I've been doing this for a year-and-a-half now, and it suits me quite well even though I'm no youngster. I stopped doing the 12-hour shifts when I passed 40 (mainly because I was massively overweight and had some fairly serious arthritis pain in my knees, ankles, and hips), and other than the VERY rare occasion when I'm asked to stay over, I still don't do 12's even though I'm much thinner and in better shape than I was then.

    Just my two cents' worth......
  4. by   RN4NICU
    It is a difficult decision - nursing is so draining physically and mentally. I love only working 3 days per week with 12 hour shifts, but the shifts themselves can be torture on the body (I'm in good shape, but my joints do not like me after 12+ hours of walking on the hard concrete floors at the hospital), yet if I had to go in to work 5 days per week, I'd go absolutely crazy. 2 days just isn't enough time to recover - physically or mentally. It's all I can do, sometimes, to go back in after 4 days off - especially if my final shift was not a good one. Sometimes I find myself dreading going back the day before. It's not that my job is that bad, it just takes so much out of me.

    I worked 8-hour evenings as a new grad (read: younger, all excited about my new career, and full of energy). I don't see how I lived through it, looking back. Evening shift is when the family members bombard the place (as do the friends, neighbors, clergy, etc - not to mention the nosy people that just come through because they have nothing better to do and they heard from a friend of a friend's cousin's son's girlfriend's brother that so-and-so was in the hospital). Just the thought of that is exhausting...

    Anyway, best of luck in whatever you decide to do. I'm sure it will work out. We seem to have a way of getting used to whatever our work situation is after a while.
  5. by   weetziebat
    thats a tough one. i've worked both and loved the 12 hr. shifts cause it was so great having four days off in a row. then went to 8 hr. evenings and really liked that too. since i'm a night person it suited me very well to be getting off work before midnight and still be able to stay up late.
    [color=#483d8b]the biggest determining factor for me would be whether i had family or not. when my daughter was a baby, evenings were great cause i could spend all day with her. then when she started school i found evenings awful cause i never saw much of her. and, of course, you have to consider any significant other and what shift they may work.
    [color=#483d8b]so imho, if you are single, and since it sounds like you really want to work in hospice, why not go for it. you'll adjust to the schedule if you like your job.
    [color=#483d8b]good luck in making the decision
  6. by   JacelRN
    Thank you all for the words of advice and encouragement,

    Evenings will be best for my current situation since my hubby also works the 2nd shift. Our schedules would only be off for 2-3 hours at a time. We don't have kids yet, so I feel like I can do this until like you said, I want to be home for them while they are in school. Who knows, by then I might get a different job, but for now, I'm leaning towards evenings.

    I think any adjustment right now will be tough. I've been working for 5 months in night shift position and the 12 med-surg floor hours can be very gruelling. Even though I'm a fresh nurse, I'm tired already. How can anyone do this for so many years?

    Thank you though, I think I'm gonna jump for it! :roll

  7. by   Tweety
    There are advantages and disantages to all kinds of shifts. The advantage of 8 hour shifts is that you have more time during that day to do things. 8 hour evenings did my body good, while 8 hour day shifts killed me. 8-hr night shift was nice because I had the evenings free with my friends who worked normal hours, but I was tired a lot.

    The disanvantage of course if having only two days off a week. This was tough working every other weekend, because there would be a stretch of 8 or nine days with only one day off, the only two-day stretch I had was every other weekend.
  8. by   Genista
    I work 8s in the hospital, and most of my coworkers work only 3-4 days/week. A select few work 5 days/week, but only because they need the money so badly. Nursing is so exhausting that most of our "full timers" are the 4 day a week people. You can always, always pick up extra shifts. Also, we self schedule, so most nurses try not to schedule themselves for more than 3 days in a row "on." It can be a killer, especially if you get a rough assignment. Maybe you will consider 4 days a week if 5 seems like it is too much. Good luck!