• Question: what the longest you've worked for (hours) ?

    Asked by potatochild on 12 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      As a junior doctor, we are not legally allowed to work for more than 13 hours in a shift. This is to ensure patient safety as it is well recognised that mistakes are more likely to happen when a doctor is tired.

      Doing research however is a different matter and there are no rules about how long you can work for. When I have something that I am finding really interesting I can work on it for well over 12 hours.

    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      The longest day I’ve done in the lab was probably 14 hours. It’s quite easy to lose track of time when you’ve got a lot to do. If the day is quite varied as well the time can pass very quickly.

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      I’ve worked overnight a couple of times… probably about 18 hours or something similar.

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      When i worked in care with a vulnerable adult, I once worked for 72 hours!! I had to look after him in his own home (originally a 12 hour shift) but it snowed really heavily and no one could get to me, so i had to stay to make sure he was safe.

      As a scientist, I once worked 24 hours straight due to an issue in our laboratory in a hospital that meant that if i didn’t patients might have died as they might not have gotten the treatment they needed.

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I used to do 24 shifts earlier in my career (and sometimes stay on past that if there were emergencies) – now it is not allowed as a junior doctor. We did get a room to rest in though in between.

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 14 Jun 2019:


      Non-stop it would be 36 hour shift on clinics (including a very busy night on call)

    • Photo: David Wilson

      David Wilson answered on 14 Jun 2019:


      A few times i’ve had some important experiments where timing was crucial i think those days might have been about 15 hours long.
      It’s not much fun and not something I would advise, you’re not that productive on the following days.

    • Photo: Kate Timms

      Kate Timms answered on 17 Jun 2019:


      18 hours was my longest day without sleep, but I’ve had to stay in the lab before for an experiment. For that I was in the lab for 30 hours and slept on the chairs in the coffee room for a couple of hours.

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