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12 hours

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I haven’t worked a 12 hour shifts in a long time, probably over a two years ago.  I forgot how hard it can be to be on my feet all that time.

I remember I used to tell new grads and students that the most important piece of equipment a floor nurse can have is a good pair of shoes.  Actually, that is just good advice for life.  But to make it through a full twelve hour shift, that good pair of shoes can make or break your day.

The last time I worked on the floor, I was about 50 pounds heavier and not working out like I do now.  I can really tell the difference.  I am able to tolerate being on my 40 year old feet for the entire time.  My knees don’t ache like they used to and I can actually come home and play with my daughter.

I have thought in the past that I am not sure if 12 hour shifts are safe.  Being up on our feet for 12 hours can really wear a nurse out, and can tire out our brains.  The only time I have had this kind of problem was when I would plan my schedule out so I worked 6 days in a row, by that 6th day I was so worn out that I was really worried that I would make a mistake.  But that 8 days off after that were wonderful.

I am happy being back on the floor…..and I have some great shoes.

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Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed. Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university. Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.
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2 Responses to 12 hours

  1. I am a staff LPN at a LTC facility. I totally agree with the good shoes. A great pair of shoes can make or break your shift! I also make sure to take time to get off my feet while noting orders and notifying RP’s. It isn’t always possible to take breaks so I take advantage of the moments that I can when I get them.

  2. I prefer 12 hour shifts over 8 so that I can work less days. I would love to be able go do 6 on Then 8 off!
    Days I work, even when its just 8 hours are pretty much work only days, can’t really do anything else, so I’d rather just get all my time over with. Truth be told I’d do two 16s. As far as safety goes, I feel no less competent at the end of my shift, actually it’s about the 8 hour make when I get the most down then I get a 2nd wind. Good luck with the new schedule.

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