Essay on 12 Hour Shifts : Good Or Bad?

766 Words Oct 11th, 2016 4 Pages
12-Hour Shifts: Good or Bad? Over the last few years, many have questioned whether 12-hour nursing shifts provide more benefits or drawbacks to organizations. Most of the nurses working in hospitals, emergency departments, and long-term care facilities are working 12-hour shifts for three consecutive days and then spend the following four days off (“12-Hour Nursing Shifts vs. 8-Hour Nursing Shifts,” 2014). Nurses that work 12-hour shifts receive more time off to spend with their families and friends. The ability to have multiple days off is appealing to most nurses, especially nurses with young children. 12-hour nursing shifts can benefit patients as well. Patients often become frustrated and confused when they receive care from different nurses in a single day. 12-hour nursing shifts result in fewer shift changes, reducing the amount of stress and confusion experienced by patients. Although there are advantages to 12-hour shifts, there are also many disadvantages for nurses and patients. Some claim that 12-hour work shifts are too long, increasing the rate of medical errors made by nurses due to lack of sleep and focus. According to the report To Err Is Human, the United States healthcare system currently experiences an outrageous amount of preventable medical errors (1999). Determining the causes of preventable errors and providing solutions is vital to the improvement of patient care. Although the majority of nurses prefer working 12-hour shifts, it is…

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