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Shiftwork: What Is It? (RN)

by Elizabeth Russ

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    00:01 Shift work. What is it? So this is kind of the great debate, right? Which is better? Eight hour shifts or 12? I personally am team 12 because by the time I commute and get everything like set up at my desk and I look up my people, I would rather just stay for 12 hours and then have some extra days totally off.

    00:19 But many people prefer eight hour shifts because they can go home and have like an actual life on the days that they work.

    00:26 I want to in this section review how the different shifts kind of work and how what you might expect in your own nursing job.

    00:33 So your hours will vary depending on where you work.

    00:37 Some places usually if in your if you're in the hospital, you're going to come in at like 7 a.m. or 7:00 PM.

    00:43 If you're working at 12, and you'll stay till 7:30 a.m.

    00:47 or PM, if you work full time, you will usually work 36 hours a week.

    00:51 So that's three days. Part-time is two days.

    00:53 And then I bet you can guess it, 12 hours is one day and on days that you work one of these twelves, there's really not a whole lot of other things that you can do that day because realistically you have to get back to work at like 6.30 to make it to your unit on time, unless you work at a smaller hospital, and you can just like walk out and show up, and you will rarely walk out of your unit at 7.30.

    01:15 So let's say you have like 30 minutes to commute, so you have to leave your house by 6 a.m. and you get home at 8:15 p.m.

    01:24 and you have to still eat and shower, and you'll, you'll, you'll definitely want to shower before you go to bed so that you can then wake up at five for the next day. Those days are long and if you have kids, you likely won't honestly see them on those days, which is really hard.

    01:39 But the benefit is even if you work for a time, you then have four full days off every week and that's awesome.

    01:46 And you can also stack your days off so that if you work a bunch in a row, then you'll have like two weeks off without having to actually use any of your vacation time.

    01:54 Also. Awesome.

    01:56 And then we also have eight-hour shifts because 12 aren't the only thing.

    02:00 Right? Some hospitals have done away with these, but many still have them.

    02:04 And this would be a 7 a.m.

    02:06 to 3:30 p.m., 3 p.m.

    02:08 to 11:30 p.m.

    02:09 or 11:00 pm to 7:30 a.m..

    02:11 Shift these allow you time to go home to eat dinner or have a morning or an evening before you need to go in and go to work.

    02:19 The downside is that you are going to be spending a lot more time commuting, and you don't have that extra day off.

    02:26 If you work 40 hours a week this is five days a week and if you work nights, there are very, very few full days off because remember, with nights you technically go in the evening like of your day off, if that makes sense.

    02:41 You need two full nights in a row when you're working nights to have one full day off. It's weird, and you'll get used to it, but just something to consider when you're looking at your schedule and the types of shifts that you will end up working.

    02:53 And then there's also we'll throw them in here, the ten-hour shifts.

    02:56 These are usually seen in office settings where full time employees work like 4 10-hour shifts a week, maybe 7:00 am to like 5 p.m., and then they get one full day off a week without having to sacrifice any of the other hours.

    03:10 This is an awesome setup for outpatient because the extra day off is life giving. Now, let's take a quick look at like the hours, days and nights.

    03:19 For 12-hour shifts, there's days and there's nights.

    03:21 Typically, days is busier.

    03:23 Everyone in the hospital and your patients have like they have procedures, they have visitors, there's lots of consults.

    03:28 Everyone is always in and out, and there's admissions and discharges.

    03:30 And it can just be, it can be a lot.

    03:33 But you are a normal human who sleeps in nighttime and your days off are like real days off because you have your normal human, and you sleep at nighttime.

    03:42 And then we have nightshift.

    03:43 Nightshift is quieter. You usually have more patients because there's just in general less chaos. But your patients still require the same amount of care.

    03:52 So the meds are the same, the tasks are usually similar and there are actually less resources. So you have to do a lot more by yourself.

    03:59 Also, the people are amazing because they get used to pulling together to kind of get stuff done with less resources and the vibe is just it's just it's good. I loved it.

    04:11 Many people do not love it, and that is okay.

    04:13 Leave us to our dark and twisty nightshift selves, and you go be sunny day shift people. But I will say the nightshift life, it can be very hard on your body. It takes a while to adjust to a sleep schedule, and you need two days off in a row. Like we discussed before, you have one full day off so scheduling can get weird because if you, let's just lay it out for you because this is confusing, right? If you get off of your shift Thursday morning, and you have one day off, you have Thursday night off.

    04:45 So you go home, and you sleep on Thursday because you were just up all night working, and then you're up for like a little bit Thursday day and evening, and you probably sleep Thursday night because your body is just like, Hey, this is normal, it's nighttime. And then Friday you wake up, you do some fun life and then.

    05:00 You probably go to sleep again because you have to be up again all night because you only had the one night off.

    05:05 So yeah, it can kind of be hard.

    05:08 It's best to clump your night shifts together so that you can really flip back to normal life again and get a few real days off.

    05:16 So all in all, there's just definitely a lot of variety in your job.

    05:19 May actually even switch it up on you.

    05:21 Mind it, I worked 12 and eights and some people worked like twelves and eights and days and nights and I don't know how they knew which way was up, but we call this flipping. And if you can do it, you, you amaze me.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Shiftwork: What Is It? (RN) by Elizabeth Russ is from the course Is Nursing Right for You? (RN).


    Author of lecture Shiftwork: What Is It? (RN)

     Elizabeth Russ

    Elizabeth Russ


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