The Impact of Shift Work on Nurses
The Impact of Shift Work on Nurses
The purpose of this paper is to discuss nursing shift work and its impact on nursing staff health and family life. The position of the International Council of Nurses is quoted below. It is their position that shift work is detrimental.
Position Statement: “The International Council of Nurses (ICN) recognizes that many nursing services must be accessible on a twenty-four basis, making shift work a necessity. At the same time ICN is very concerned that shift work may have a negative impact on an individual’s health, ability to function, immediate support group and the continuity of care, thus affecting the ...view middle of the document...
The journal looked at the shift length how many hours worked, how many hours off, and compared with what is now known regarding the relationship of error to consecutive hours worked. The Journal also looked at overtime. Does the overtime policy take into account the hours of rest or sleep and outside fixed responsibilities of the nurse such as family needs (Collins, 2007)?
Society is comprised of variety of occupations which has its demands and challenges. Hospitals are opened 24 hours therefore nurses are obligated to provide continuous care around the clock. Nurses are expected to assure patients safety and deliver high-quality care. The Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) in its white paper states “the effects of fatigue on performances are manifested in decreased alertness, vigilance, concentration, mood and performance (WSNA). Most nurses are no longer working 40 hour week, 36-48 hours maybe scheduled (Rogers, Hwang, & Scott, 2004).
More medication errors were made after working 11-14 hours, while changes were made to 12 hours and 16 hours only if the need is critical. The 24 hours shift are divided into two 12 hour shift of days and nights. There are three 8 hour shifts that nurses do to ensure flexibility to home life. Providing 12 hour shift has benefits for nurses by having more days off, with which they can spend more time with families, exercise and reenergized themselves. Hospital are trying to improve the schedules by giving nurses their preferred shift and days off, gaining a positive outcome. These issues may cause nurses to become frustrated and dissatisfied and leave the profession.
As healthcare workers we experience many ethical and legal issues, these issues maybe negligence, administering the wrong medication and advocating for the patient. Given our position nurses faces specific challenges in providing medical care. Due to the nursing shortage, nurses are required to work longer hours, which is causing fatigue, absenteeism and issues of patient’s safety. Nurses are responsible for providing competent care by following physician’s orders for all individuals who need medical care. Unfortunately, errors are been made by physicians when writing patients order, and as nurses we need to be vigilant when transcribing order. As nurses we spend more time with patient getting to know them as individuals, at times patient does not follow physicians orders which makes it difficult for nurses as patients are acting against their own health and interest.
According to Suzanne Edgett (Association, 2006) (Nurses, 2007)Collins, in her research about the legal implications “Nurses factors in patient safety failures are related to several major categories, inattention related to fatigue and multiple distractions inherent in the nurse workday are major...