A Quick Rundown of

Nursing Shift Guidelines

Before, nurses hours were only made up of 8-hour shifts. But times have changed and nurses now work 12-hour shifts.

Although there are many reasons why facilities and nurses prefer working 12-hour shifts, advocates of 8-hour shifts say that if a nurse works longer than 10 hours, there will be a lack of effectiveness and safety.

Here are some considerations when creating your nursing work schedule.

Regardless of what the nurse’s schedule may say, there are many times when nurses work overtime because of patient needs or staffing demands. Shortage of nurses or patient needs makes nurses have no choice but to work past their scheduled end of shift. There is no work-hour policy for registered nurses in the US. So while on paper, the 12 hour shift may look great, in eality the shifts can turn into 13 or more hours.

Errors can result because of the strain of long shifts. Longer work hours increase the likelihood of errors.

Having 8-hour shifts can greatly reduce the risk of injuries or burn out. Nurses who work long hours can suffer from workplace injuries due to sleep deprivation and slower reaction times as a result. If a nurse works more than 10 hours, then he can experience burnout.

Patients need medical care which only nurses can provide them. Nurses are important to give patients medical attention and care.

patients will experience less turnover if the nurse work on 12 hour shifts. But if the nurse is tired, and goes on over time, then she will not be able to provide the best possible care for her patients.

There is a negative impact on a nurse’s health if she works long shifts. But if a nurse works longer shifts, then she spends fewer days and less time overall commuting to work. There is more flexibility with longer shifts. They get longer stretches of time at home if they have longer shifts. You can be home for several hours a day if you have an 8-hour shift. Four-day weekends are given to nurses who work for 12-hour shifts. With 12-hour shifts there is scheduling flexibility for your nurses. Absenteeism is reduced, retention is increased, and morale is boosted.

You can work easily with longer shifts if you are the management. It only take scheduling two shifts a day. If yo have a shorter shift, then start and end times will vary. Both staff and management will find it confusing. Use an employee clock time to help keep track of employees’ work hours.

Organizations may differ in their nursing shifts. The things considered above should help you think about how shifts affect your staff, your patients, and your bottom line.

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