12 hours

Hemera | Thinkstock

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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