Varied Days & Night shifts


I've been working 12hr night shifts, but because we are now over-staffed my manager wants me to pick up some day shifts within my schedule. Has anyone done this? Working days and nights within the same week. I will have a few days off in between to adjust, but I don't know if that will do much seeing as how I have trouble with my sleeping pattern to begin with. Is it doable in regards to keep your sanity and health? Should I take the day shifts to keep my same hours/pay... or just have my hours cut all together? Thanks in advance!

Pediatric Critical Care Columnist

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

16 Articles; 7,358 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

I've been working rotating day-night 12 hour shifts for 18 years. (In my part of the world we don't have a choice, in acute we all work rotating shifts, pretty much.) It's not impossibly difficult if it's planned properly. One night by itself doesn't mess up sleep patterns much, but only having 36 hours off between ending a night shift and beginning a day shift does. The best scenario is 2 on, 3 off, regardless of day or night. It's also better (healthier) to do a stretch of one shift over a couple of weeks. If your manager is determined to have you rotating, negotiate a schedule that will allow you to have some real down time between sets of shifts.