The Effects Of Fatigue And Sleep Deprivation On Nurses Essay

1652 Words Dec 1st, 2014 7 Pages
Additionally 12-hour shifts contribute to fatigue among nurses. In a study published in the Journal of Nursing Management, Richardson et al. found that 60% of 145 respondents agreed with the statement regarding 12-hour shifts, “makes me feel tired after working two or more consecutive shifts.” Only 17.9% disagreed with the statement and 22.1% remained neutral (842). This increase in reported fatigue, caused by working long and mentally/physically demanding shifts, is the foundation of the argument against 12-hour shifts. The negative consequences associated with 12-hour nursing shifts all have one thing in common, they emanate from fatigue. Some of the various outcomes of fatigue and sleep deprivation are as follows: long-term health effects seen in nurses; an increase in medication errors and near errors; fatality; short-term memory deficits; and decreases in vigilance, memory, information processing, reaction time, and decision making. Twelve-hour shifts compared to 8-hour shifts are proving to have more long-term health effects on nurses than originally known. Katie Morales, a registered nurse and certified nurse educator, wrote an article titled, “The Tiring Effects of a 12-hour Nursing Shift and Tips to Beat It”. In this article, she writes, “The flexible schedule may also make a regular sleep pattern harder to achieve. There are also studies which suggest 12-hour shifts have long-term effects on a nurse’s own health, placing them at a greater risk for obesity, heart…

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