In response to the article “ANA calls for stronger collaboration to reduce risks from nurse fatigue,” I feel there is a lack of focus on the benefits of working 12-hour shifts. Many of my co-workers love 12-hour shifts and do not want, nor can they imagine, working anything other than that. I love having the option of working my three shifts in a week or picking up an extra shift. That is one of the great benefits of our career choice — freedom to alter our work schedule to our family’s activities, religious responsibilities, recreation, etc.
I am an ICU nurse on the night shift and I absolutely love it. I do not want my schedule to change at all. When applying for a job, one must consider the responsibilities that go along with it, including work hours, travel time, time off between shifts, family time, free time, possibility for fatigue, etc. We are professionals and I feel it is our responsibililty to act as such. If you live far away from the place you are applying to, then maybe you shouldn’t be applying to work at that facility, or you relocate.
If a nurse is impaired in his or her thinking, physical health or ability to carry out job responsibilities, then maybe he or she needs to look into another area of nursing. I hate to see our work schedules given a bad name when they work so well for so many people.
— Will Erickson, BSN, RN, CCRN, Las Vegas