I am close to getting a job where I will be working overtime almost every day, even during the slow season. I have been told that I would be working 11-13 hour shifts during the Summer. Major overtime! What's your job like?
I frequently have to work the whole day, all through the night and through the day again. I'm a freelance, and think this could be a fairly standard hazard of such a status. I don't get overtime income for it either!!!
Currently, I am unemployed, but for 7 years I worked for my husband as a fed-ex driver. During our peak season I remember working 12+ hours of non-stop bending, reaching, lifting and walking.
I once work two shifts as a lab tech many years ago for a total of 16 hours. Boy I was exhausted after that.
We were once asked to work whatever we could - the norm for about two months was 7 days, 18 hours per day. It doesn't work out very well - people go to lunch but don't come back (asleep in their car) and after a few days were often late to work.
As a young man in college I worked one summer with 3 jobs; my schedule on weekends began Friday morning at 8:00 AM and ended Monday at 10:00 PM with no more than a couple of 1 hour breaks between jobs. It was made possible because the graveyard shift those 3 days was a gas station (the attendant pumped gas then and washed windshield, etc.) with a bell that would ring when there was a customer. Business was slow and I could get some sleep in between customers.
Back when I was young there was a period I worked 70 hours a week driving.
Once I was so tired, I pulled into the yard of the house next door instead of my own and fell asleep in the car!
I'm an anesthesiologist. In residency, I regularly worked 30 to 36 hour stretches. Once in a while, I'd get a nap for an hour or two. There were no work-hour limits in place 'back in the day'. There are now - residents are now limited to 80 hour weeks, I think.
Now that I'm in private practice, a non-call day is about 10 hours. If I'm on call, I'm on for 24 hours at a time during the week. That means I work straight through the day and into the night until the scheduled and 'add-on' emergency surgeries are done - usually 12 to 16 hours. I am then available to be called back for surgeries or epidurals until the next morning at 7am. At 7am, the next regular work day starts. That day is the "post-call" day and is usually shorter - like 6 or 8 hours.
The weekends, I'm on call for 48 hours straight. Usually, I don't work more than 12 hours total during that 48 (except during 'peak seasons' which are the summer and winter here), but it's randomly split up between day and night, so it's exhausting. Then Monday morning when the call is over, a new week starts.
Yes, it sucks. That's why I only work 'part-time' meaning I work a few weeks on with that schedule and then have a week or two off to spend some time with my children.
"I'm an anesthesiologist. In residency, I regularly worked 30 to 36 hour stretches."
Is that safe and if not, why is it required?
NO! It's not safe or healthy.
There is a culture in medicine that is part 'macho'and another part of it is that you are supposed to be willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING to be a doctor or you don't deserve the 'privilege'.
If you even suggest that you might be too tired to work effectively, you are labeled as 'lazy', 'weak' and not a team player since someone else has to pick up your slack. Same goes for needing food or family time.
It's starting to change, thus the work hour restriction for residents of 80 hours a week (if that's their restriction, what does that say about how it used to be?).
A lot more docs now are like me. We say Eff you to the old system and are finding ways to cut back, work part time, job share, have other revenue streams, etc (but sometimes there is no choice - I still have $150,000 in loans after 10 years out of med school).
The problem is that hospitals are 24/7 propositions. Someone has to be there ALL the time. If there were twice as many doctors, the hours would be better, but the cost would go up - more salary, more malpractice insurance, etc.
The argument for trainees to work like crazy is that they 'need' the continuity of care of being with the patient night and day for days on end. There is some value to that BUT not so much that it starts to put that same patient in jeopardy. But the old school docs will not hear of it. They are too part of the system to have it change and new docs are instilled with this philosophy from day one. I was told once in med school that I WOULD be in the hospital every day, either as a doctor or a patient (that is, if you aren't sick enough to be admitted as a patient, don't even think about not showing up for your rotation.).
It's one of the reasons I would not do med school again and that I now work part-time when I can get away with it. I gave up my youth and my health. I will not also sacrifice my children to the beast.
Good question and I hope things keep changing for the better.
Well, my first child was born in 1985 and my youngest child turned 18 in 2007. So that makes the longest shift I ever worked about 22 years.
I have worked 16 hour shifts as a nurses aide before. But when my mom was in hospital for just over a month my schedule was:
Up at 9am
Hospital by 10am
Home at 6pm
sleep til 9pm
to work by 10pm
home by 7am
up at 9am...and repeat this over and over for a month or so. It was rough and probably took a few years off my life, but hey, Mom is doing great!
I probably work more hours now every day as a freelancer than I've ever worked in my life, but when I was a taxi driver one day I worked from 1pm right through to 7am in the morning. It was New year and it was incredibly busy, I don't think I even got a break.
Made a small fortune all the same
That's why my friend got the wrong dosage of anaesthetic 20 years ago and by miracle did not die, but was left severely disabled - half of her brain was "burned". She lives with terrible headaches all her life and bad memory and what not.
Doctors and nurses should have more "normal" shift. It spells disaster all the time. 8-10 hours of work, no more is normal and good night/day sleep is imperative to anybody. We,humans, have to have rest. Once (when I had a car) I fell asleep behind the wheel in slow traffic and woke up facing the back of the bus like 2 inches in front of me. Scary!
I work 4 jobs, including my online writing. A typical week is 70 hrs for me. Sometimes more.
"There is a culture in medicine that is part 'macho'and another part of it is that you are supposed to be willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING to be a doctor or you don't deserve the 'privilege'." Would guess much of this is just good old exploitation and cheap labor disguised as training, to the detriment of the patient, who there are probably many injured or killed due to mistakes by people who haven't slept in 4 days.
You are right about that. I figured out once on a particularly bad rotation with every-other-night call that I was making about $4.00 per hour for that period of time. Miserable.
There are some errors and some that lead to bad outcomes, BUT the check and balance system provided by a team approach helps A LOT in a teaching hospital and involves medical students, first year residents, senior residents and attending physicians on a team, taking care of each patient. You 'round' 2 times a day and discuss treatment plans with the whole team in depth before any changes are made to the patients care. In addition, the nurses and pharmacists help a lot with double-checking medication and so on. Ideally, the team works together and looks out for each other and the patient. It's not a perfect system but it REALLY does help.
12 hours at a crappy factory packing job while home from university when I was 18
Generally i work 8h daily but Last month episode deadline reached so I worked 13hours. I'm 3d Lighting artist.
The longest shift I've worked was 18 hours in a single day. However, the most I worked in one week is around 94 hours.
I own my own business now and usually work 10 hour days, yet when I was 23 after 4 years with the same company, I worked 17 hours once as a security supervisor. Then I slept for 7 hours and worked another 16 hours because they needed the man power. Then I was told on the 2nd 16 shift that my incident report was sloppy like that of a trainee and if I don't do better my job might be in jeopardy. Ha! I told HR and they were pretty pissed at the manager who said that, but I decided that after 4 hours, it was time to move on regardless of that incident.
I spent twenty three hours tracing a video problem to its source for a major hotel/casino property. Amazing how important television can become to some. lol
In the past I have worked 20 hours a day for one company, and have often done 24 hour shifts working the whole time. Most of the time now I am still working very long shifts.
Now though its not all doing the same thing. I actually consider Hub pages a full time job, but at least if you need a few days off no major bad thing will happen.
On top of Hub pages I have four websites which are in the start up phase. They all require time every day. Sometimes I have three small children to take care of on top of all this. There are times when I am still putting in thirty six hours without sleep.
I have many more crash and burn days now than I did even ten years ago. There are also many more days getting out of bed is impossible due to my physical health.
Conference meeting days in my district are 12 hours for teachers.
I have done 24-30 hrs a lot at my current job (of 19 years) will try to break that tonight (Wednesday 9:30) and work till Friday when its all done! whats the worse thing that could happen??? a heart attack and death?
From 8am on a Friday to 3pm on Sunday, 55hrs. This was done by choice to complete tasks so a project could start as scheduled on Monday. As a salaried employee, there was no overtime pay.
I use to work a 16 hour shift once a week along with my normal 4 days as a nurse. I had 3 boys to feed and clothe so it was necessary.
by eltravose6 years ago
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