Length of shifts

  1. I am a nursing student who will graduate soon. I am trying to decide on the length of shift that is the safest while still being convienant. Do people who work 12 hour shifts tend to make more errors? Is there truly much difference?
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  2. Visit DarbyD profile page

    About DarbyD

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 5

    23 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    There have been studies that show overtime causes more errors, but I'm not sure about 12 hour shifts. For me personally, I haven't noticed any difference in stress levels or errors when I switched to 12 hour shifts 5 years ago.

    I think 12-hours is the max a person should regularly work to be safe. Fatigue sets in otherwise, imo.

    Good luck to you.
  4. by   Gompers
    Just from what I've seen in my own work experience (8 years, 3 hospitals)...

    Most people do fine with 12 hour shifts - and working 3 12's a week is really a nice deal so go for it! Just try and stay true to your natural rhythm if you can - it's a long shift so you really want to be on nights if you're a night owl, etc.

    I see the most errors when people work 16 hour double shifts, regularly work nights after being up all day long (much more common than you think), or are working lots of overtime.
  5. by   Compton
    What are the most common shifts, hours and days a week? Sorry, just curious..
  6. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from Compton
    What are the most common shifts, hours and days a week? Sorry, just curious..
    I think it really depends on where you are geographically. In NY, most of the shifts are 12 hrs in acute care. Also, depends on the unit. ER and OR tend to have overlapping *****, with some people doing 8's or 10's in between the 12's. But the standard on the floors and ICu's are 12's here. LTC is usually 8.
  7. by   BETSRN
    Quote from bonemarrowrn
    I think it really depends on where you are geographically. In NY, most of the shifts are 12 hrs in acute care. Also, depends on the unit. ER and OR tend to have overlapping *****, with some people doing 8's or 10's in between the 12's. But the standard on the floors and ICu's are 12's here. LTC is usually 8.
    Overlapping *****???? I love it! What a great typo! I couldn't resist. Sorry! Thanks so much for starting my day out with a tremendous laugh!!
  8. by   saskrn
    Quote from DarbyD
    I am a nursing student who will graduate soon. I am trying to decide on the length of shift that is the safest while still being convienant. Do people who work 12 hour shifts tend to make more errors? Is there truly much difference?
    Do you have a choice of what lengths of shifts you can work? It has been my experience, for the most part, that the hospital determines whether their nurses work 8, 10 or 12 hour shifts. If it's an option, maybe you can try different lengths and see what works best for you.

    Personally, I hate 8's. When I was working them, I felt like I didn't have a life.
  9. by   saskrn
    Quote from Compton
    What are the most common shifts, hours and days a week? Sorry, just curious..
    Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly, but this business is 24/7 - that means all shifts, hours and days of the week are common.
  10. by   saskrn
    Quote from BETSRN
    Overlapping *****???? I love it! What a great typo! I couldn't resist. Sorry! Thanks so much for starting my day out with a tremendous laugh!!

  11. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from betsrn
    overlapping *****???? i love it! what a great typo! i couldn't resist. sorry! thanks so much for starting my day out with a tremendous laugh!!
    oh my god!! it was me!! i guess it was a freudian slip!! well i guess it's etter to overlap them, than keep them separate (so now it's one big pile!!!) :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Where I work, we have 12s and 8s. In OB it's all 12s. 7-7.
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    BONEMARROW...I have worked in total care where that would not have been a typo

    i work two 16s back to back now...my preference is 12 but i absolutely hate 8 hr shifts
    going in every day is the pits

    the problem with 12 and 16 hr shifts is that if someone calls in you cannot legally stay for another shift to help cover

    another problem is that too many nurses overextend themselves and then they simply cannot work anymore and they start calling in or become nocall/noshow...i can understand the need for more money but if you try to work two or three jobs like of 12 or 16 every day of week something has to give
  14. by   saskrn
    Quote from bonemarrowrn
    oh my god!! it was me!! i guess it was a freudian slip!! well i guess it's etter to overlap them, than keep them separate (so now it's one big pile!!!) :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle

    :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle

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