July 5, 2023

Nurses Are What Makes the Healthcare System Thrive

It’s Nurses week, nurses month and of course it’s been “The Year Of the Nurse,” since 2020! Where would healthcare be without nurses? It’s clear that nurses are the heart and soul of the healthcare system.

National nurses week starts every year officially on May 6 and ends on May 12 which is the birthday of Florence Nightingale’s, known as the founder of the nursing profession. In 1954 national nurses week was first observed from May 11-16 to celebrate Florence Nightingales 100th anniversary of her mission to Crimea. Despite several attempts by the American Nurses Association (ANA) to have nurses recognized during a certain week, it wasn’t until 1982 when then president, Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation making May 6 officially “National Nurses Day.”

Nurses Keep Patients Safe

The first priority of all healthcare providers is patient safety. Perhaps Florence Nightingale said it best when she stated “It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm. It is quite necessary, nevertheless, to lay down such a principle.” When Florence Nightingale served her time in the Crimean war from 1853 to 1856, she noticed thousands of British soldiers dying from infections. She then toured various hospitals in Europe and wrote about her data in her book “Notes on Nursing,” she outlines a playbook of sorts for nurses and healthcare providers on how to keep patients safe and healthy.

Not All Nurse Schedules Are The Same

Just like there are many different types of nurses, there are also many different types of nursing work schedules. Nurses can be found almost anywhere these days, from hospitals to theme parks. Full time nurse schedules can vary and include 30-46-hour shifts.

Examples of nurse schedules include:

  • The 12-hour shift: Nurses who work in hospital setting will commonly work three 12-hour shifts in a row in a facility that gives patients 24-hour care.
  • The 10-hour shift: Although 10-hour shifts are not as common as 12-hour shifts, medical clinics and private practice healthcare settings often follow this staffing schedule.
  • The 8-hour shift: Five 8-hour shifts in a row can be found in school-based clinics, private practice facilities and medical clinics.
  • PRN: In Latin PRN “pre re neta” means as needed. PRN nurses do not have set schedules and usually work as needed. They get staffed when there is a staffing shortage of emergency situation.

The Pro’s and Con’s to 12 Hour Shift Work

Although, 12-hour shifts can seem like running a never-ending marathon, there are always pro’s and con’s. The pro’s:  number of patient deaths were found to be lower amongst nurses who work 12 hour shifts. More time is always an added bonus.

The con’s: increased fatigue, depression, dissatisfaction with work life balance, and a diminished social life. A study found that nurses who worked 12.5-hour shifts had an increase in medication errors.

Tips To Surviving Three 12’s In A Row
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get lots of rest
  • Boost your immune system
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Invest in blackout curtains and ear plugs
  • Take your breaks

Intrigma Understands Nurses And Their Staffing Needs

Intrigma’s workforce scheduling offers tracking metrics which tracks nurses vacation time, PTO, and those shifts that might not be so popular focusing on creating fairness. Intrigma’s patient volume planner matches patient volume to provider productivity helping to keep patients safe.