12 hour shifts, how hard are they to work?

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Reply Wed 21 Dec, 2005 11:20 pm
12 hour shifts, how hard are they to work?
For thos RNs who work 12 hour shifts, do you like it? And how difficult is it for you to work a 12 hour shift?
 
soon2beRN
 
Reply Fri 23 Dec, 2005 01:00 am
Not that I've had alot of experience as a nurse working 12's...but I worked as a tech doing 12's and it wasn't too bad......then this last semester in school I had to work my nurse preceptors schedule....I did a total of 105 hours....all 12 hour shifts. (days/nights) Honestly, for me, 12's aren't much different than 8's......I was too busy to count the hours. The only real difference I noticed was working nights....by the 2nd night I was a little more sleep deprived....oh, and my 12's weren't over at 7:30am....there were a couple times we didn't get out until almost 9am Very Happy
I'm curious to see what our "seasoned" nurses have to say......... Very Happy
 
HeatherLPN
 
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2006 08:20 pm
I'm an LPN that works 12's. I love it. 3 days/week gives me a lot of extra days to work my medpass job at the group home, and still have time for my kids and their activities. Plus you're so busy the time flies, especially from 6p-10p (I work nights). The only thing that's hard is nights when you are really tired and you end up staying over an hour or 2 b/c of paperwork or something going on with one of your patients or covering a few hours for call offs.
 
flutterby4018
 
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2006 10:03 pm
I love working nights Smile The atmosphere is totally different on night shift. I work in L&D, on the night shift you have more autonomy.
 
kk4eva
 
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 07:16 am
It's not that hard, i like it, 'cause it gives you more days off
 
Dawson 1
 
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 07:34 am
I like my 12 hr nights (7a-7p) much better than 11p-7a. The world is still awake when you drive in instead of businesses being closed & everyone going to bed. By the time I'm charting it's after midnight and the shift is half over. Probably the biggest advantage is you have to sleep. When I worked the 8 hr shifts I always put off sleeping till it was much too late. And 3 shifts/wk for full time is an absolute blessing Smile
 
mlhf7
 
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 07:06 am
12's
soon2beRN wrote:
Not that I've had alot of experience as a nurse working 12's...but I worked as a tech doing 12's and it wasn't too bad......then this last semester in school I had to work my nurse preceptors schedule....I did a total of 105 hours....all 12 hour shifts. (days/nights) Honestly, for me, 12's aren't much different than 8's......I was too busy to count the hours. The only real difference I noticed was working nights....by the 2nd night I was a little more sleep deprived....oh, and my 12's weren't over at 7:30am....there were a couple times we didn't get out until almost 9am Very Happy
I'm curious to see what our "seasoned" nurses have to say......... Very Happy

From a seasoned nurse.....I rotate working every other weekend 12's with the weeks being filled with mostlyl 3-11's and some 7-3's. The 12's are fine unless you have to have more than 3 in a row. True about being too busy to notice but at the end of the 2nd 12 hour shift one starts to feel it. Our bodies were not designed to take the 12 hours along with the stressors that most RN's encounter for an extended time...one must take care not to burn out... live well, rest , eat well, it's all about balance.
 
abbeygirl
 
Reply Thu 4 May, 2006 09:30 am
I work three 12 hour shifts and 4 days off each week. That last day is hard but then you look forward to 4 wonderful job free days.
 
lpnlimbo
 
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 07:06 pm
I personally don't enjoy 12 hour shifts
8) I personally don't like the 12 hour shifts because I in fact do feel anything over 8 hours. I enjoy my schedule in a nursing and rehabilitation center where I work 11p-7a 4 nights a week and it always gives me ample time to have fun off. I get to have almost half a week off to be with my family and time to myself after they go to sleep. I find that the atmosphere is much less stressful on nights and you don't have to be as demanding on yourself as you would on the day shift or even the afternoons. I personally think that after I've put in my 8 hours for the night I'm ready to go home and relax!
 
dnaraz
 
Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2006 06:17 am
12 hour shifts
I hated working 12's. I worked the night shift...so the whole next day that I had off was spent sleeping. My supervisor seldom scheduled us 3 in a row...so all my days off were broken up. I had 3 teenagers at the time that never let me sleep. They were always calling me on my days off to work...so I seldom had 4 days off anyway. By the time I finished my 3rd 12 hours shift I was exhausted and cranky. I hated it!!! I realize it may be different in other places....perhaps if I worked days...or at a different place that was better organized....but I am older now....(47) and terrified of even trying it....the last experience was SO bad.

Just my opinion.....I would like to try 4 10 hour shifts....I think that might be do-able depending on where it was at...but I avoid those 12 hour shifts like the plague!!! Guess I just don't have what it takes...Smile
 
Oldnurse
 
Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2006 08:57 am
12 hour shifts
I have done both 8 hr and 12 hr shifts. The 8 hour shifts frequently turned into 10 hr shifts. The 12 hr shifts are frequently 13 hr shifts.
If it were not for the fact that I get an extra 2 days off, I would NOT do 12 hrs. With taking call and being called in for sick nurses, it really is not much of a benefit. Lots of overtime though. If you work in a department that doesn't require taking call days, it isn't too bad.
You do get exhausted though and if you don't get your days scheduled together, you spend your extra days off per week sleeping.
It is great for the institution though. They can cover more worktime with 12 hour shifts.
It frequently reminds me of the factory workers who had mandatory over time and were seldom able to take days off.
I guess it rates a 2.5 on a scale of 0-5.
 
dalefargo
 
Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2006 09:04 am
12 hour shifts
I have worked 12 hour shifts for most of the last 15 years and most of that was night shift. They can get very long, but as several people have pointed out, you work less days in a week. You can get some very nice long stretches off. I also agree with the comments about liking nights. There is a totally different atmosphere at night, even if it is crazy busy. I also feel that the people who work nights, especially for a period of time (not just a year or so), are different; more laid back, not so frantic in crazy situations. At least that has been my experience. I'm not saying night nurses are better, just different.
 
busiacam
 
Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2006 10:06 am
Working 12 hour shifts
I work 12 hour shifts, nights (7p-7a) and love it. It lets me have the hands on with my patients that I think is important, instead of all the bureauracy that goes on during the days. I am a relatively new grad (5/05) but an "older" RN (57), so by the third night I am totally wiped out, but I still prefer this schedule to working 5 - 8 hour shifts. I also love the stretches of days off. I work in a small hospital, so maybe a larger one would be different.
 
susan3001
 
Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2006 11:03 am
12 hour shifts
I really prefer 12 hour shifts. As busy as nursing has become, I find I need the extra time to get caught up on paperwork, charting, etc. I sometimes wonder how I ever got it all done in 8 hours. When I work an 8 hour shift, I am usually late getting out anyway. I like working my 3 12 hour shifts and having 4 days off. I find working 3 12 hour shifts in a row to be too much, so I never do more than 2 in a row. I try to only work 7a-7p because I find that I sleep more working nights and actually lose "day" time.
 
pensacolabeach
 
Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2006 01:40 pm
12 hour shifts
I won't work 12 hours shifts. It's too much time away from my family. Not enough rest time, absolutely no family time. I've always worked PRN, and with the 12 hour shifts the 12 hours prior I was trying to get some rest, then the 12 hour shift, followed by sleep. A lot of time taken up for just one shift. I have several RN friends that are out of the work force due to the 12 hour shifts. I quit in 2000, I keep my license current, attend seminars, maintain my CEUs and BLS. My husband in a pilot and they have mandatory rest periods for safety. Nurses should have the same.
 
thirty years and counting
 
Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2006 03:14 am
12 hour shifts-pro or con...
Since there are many things that affect us going to work, you need to take a good look at yourself! Most nurses know you end up owned by your job if you really want to keep it. So when your relief doesn't show up or has an emergency, you end up staying, right? It seems that when you have 12 hour shifts, it's appreciated greatly when you have your off time so absenteeism is less. How about how close do you live to your job? Does it take an hour or only ten minutes to get to work? And how much is gas in your area (are you driving SUV or economy?). So many factors can influence you. The job is the biggest, because you can feel uncomfortable in the role you play, or you can be an adrenaline junkie waiting for your next ER or L&D fix! And turning our work week into 3 instead of 5 days really allows us the time to be with loved ones, even if it's only yourself! Having the majority of your time for other things than work is great!
 
vtach3333
 
Reply Sat 11 Nov, 2006 10:38 pm
12 hour nights
Twelve hour nights is the only way to go. I have worked them now for the past 5 years and dont ever want to go back to 8 hours. I usually work 6 days in a row and have 8 days off. I try to schedule the days together so that they make up 2 weeks work. I believe you work much less and most hospitals give you the same patient load so you have the same pt's back night after night and only need to get updates.
 
ElissaNiteRN
 
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2006 06:30 am
LOVE 12 HOUR NIGHTSHIFT!!!!!
Been working it primarily since 1983...have tried 8hr shifts and dayshifts, and am a cranky perso.
11pm-7am, you have to wake your sleeping patients to assess them. And don't get to know them, or teach them anything. You just write #'s, baths and paperwork.
I feel you don't have any life working 5 days a week. If you know how to schedule yourself, you can have lots of days off here and there, without losing any paid time. You get more accomplished in 3 12 hr shifts, than many in 5 8 hr shifts. And in 8's, you never get out on time anyway. So many people are there 9-10 hrs anyway.
Nights, you get to think autonomously, meet your patients, care for them, and hopefully do some teaching. More one on one time with your patients. IF you enjoy that.
You can alleviate some of the fears of both the patients and the families, if you are confident with your own decision making skills. Dayshift is so task oriented, gossipy, and everyone is trying to impress the management , the doctors, or the families, the patient is forgotten about.
I would not mind 10 hr shifts, but then there would be no overlap of shifts for the shift to shift report, thus interupting patient care continuity.
 
saraw
 
Reply Sat 18 Nov, 2006 09:39 pm
12 hour shifts
I have been working 12 hour shifts, 7p-7a, for 16 and 1/2 years. I love it. You do have to get used to them. We stay so busy, that time goes by pretty fast. Some nights, sleepiness can be a problem, though.
 
pinupc4
 
Reply Wed 26 Sep, 2007 08:32 am
I've worked 12 hour day shifts for 2 and a half years now. There are a few drawbacks, but all in all, I really do like it. Its nice to have 4 days off a week. And its nice to have days off during the week, too. After working 8 hours, it really is no big deal staying a few hours extra: I'm already there, I already know my patients, I don't have to start over, just continue. Besides, the days can really get crazy hectic and having that extra time allows me to catch up on paperwork after things wind down, usually after 5. The only thing I don't like is that work does take up the entire day, I can't schedule anything before or after work. But I've learned to plan ahead. Also, I can't work more than 3 days in a row, 2 is OK, 3 is pushing it, anything more and I'm just too tired and downright cranky.
 
 

 
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