Saturday, August 4, 2012

12 Hour Shifts

We started trialing 12 hour shifts this week with our APN team.  There are some definite kinks we need to work out, and some definite adjustments I need to do.

It wasn't that long ag, that 12 hour shifts were all I knew.  For my entire nursing career!  And yet after a short 3 months, I had forgotten just how LONG they are!

I'm realizing though, that in scheduling and 12 hour days (and pretty much every other facet out there), being an APN is SO different than being a nurse.

Bedside nursing 12 hour days meant being stationed in one or two patient rooms the entire day. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of shifts that went by that I had not gotten to sit down, or eat, or pee.  But for the most part you were stationary in a small space.

APN 12 hour  days means a whole lotta walking!  Especially in our new hospital where there seems to be about 4 miles between the patient in bed 1 and the patient in bed 41.

Bedside nursing 12 hour days means that at 7 pm your relief gets there, and you tell them about your 1 or 2 patients. Most times this takes no more than 30 minutes. Out of there by 7:30 and on your way to enjoying a day off most working people don't get to enjoy.

APN 12 hour days means that at 7 pm your relief gets there, and you have to tell them about your 14 patients (this is one of the kinks we're working out...from 4 pm until 7 pm there is only 1 nurse practitioner covering the entire team). This certainly takes more than 30 minutes.

And if you have to get an admission, or 2 like I did on Wednesday, right in that 7 o'clock hour, well you can just kiss getting out of there at a decent time goodbye!

I left after 9 pm on Wednesday, and let me tell ya the prospect of driving a little over an hour home, then having to eat dinner, shower, get lunch and everything ready for the next day to do it all over again was nauseating!

So I'm not really sure how I feel about this whole 12 hour APN day thing.  It's only been one week, and it may grow on me.  I may enjoy the extra day off each week and not even care how late I get out.

So far, half of the APNs love them, half hate them.  And half of me loves it, and half hates we'll have to just wait and see!

What I DO know, is that all of me is glad to have this weekend off completely!  After 3 12 hour shifts in a row, most of which turn into 14+ hour shifts, I will cherish every moment of this weekend!  I hope you do too!

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