12-hour nurses shift: a benefit or loss

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30 Jun 2016 - General

Nurses’ working shifts have always been a major concern. In most of the places, nurses work in 6, 8 and 12 hours shifts. In many countries, nurses prefer to work in 12-hour shifts as working in 12 hours for a continuous three days provides them with 4 days off from duty. Various research studies have shown that about 50% of the nurses are dissatisfied with 12 hourly shifts. Although it has few benefits such as easy management of nursing staffs, better care of patients and balance between the personal and professional environment, many complain of dissatisfaction and tiredness due to such prolonged hours of standing and patient care. There have been reported incidents of decreased level of alertness, decreased interest in patient care and occupation-related injuries among nurses working for 12 hours or more. There are few countries which may provide 4 days off duty after 3 days of 12-hour shifts but many countries still do not have sufficient nurses and the nurses are forced to work for more than 12 hours. Is it acceptable to make use of the available nurses to the maximum? Is a similar norm practiced in any other profession also?

Please share your views and experiences in this context.

12-hour shifts aren't only experienced by nurses, but by other members of the health care team as well, such as physicians and pharmacists. I agree that 12-hour shifts, though necessary in some areas due to a shortage of staff, may not be beneficial to both the nurses and the patients. Shifts longer than 8 hours can result in increasing fatigue, which may be a barrier to performing the needed duties, especially medication administration where any error may lead to a harmful outcome for the p...
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From a safety perspective, for a job requiring high level of mental capacity, 8 hours is the maximum. For the more mundane job, 12 hours is the maximum. Beyond that, likelihood of mistake increases. Nursing is a job requiring a lot of focus, concentration, vigilance and physical exhaustion. 12 hour shift is really not to the benefit of the patients nor a nurse's mental and physical health. IN addition, shift work which causes circadian disruption is a group 2A carcinogen ! Long work hours ...
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Personally, I believe that human capacity to highly stretchable and can be nurtured. If doctors can be expected to work 48 hour shifts (I am sure some other doctors would say that they have made to work more), with months without a single day of break and make life saving decisions, I am sure nurses can have the ability to do the same as well. I have had friend in the food and shipping industry working really long hours as well. Unless you are tied to a bond or a slave, I would not say that the...
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Hi, I used to work in a Nursing Home here in UK and usually our shifts are 12 hours a day. On my experience, I found it stressful as it does not only involve giving medication and providing nursing care/intervention to 20+ residents/patients but also dealing with other healthcare professionals, relatives and managing challenging staff as well. So, I request my line manager who makes our schedule to have at least 2 days in a row, instead of 3 as I wont normally be able to function effectively and...
 (Total 148 words)