Nursing’s Biggest Occupational Hazard - Manhattan Express | Manhattan Express

Nursing’s Biggest Occupational Hazard

BY MANHATTAN EXPRESS STAFF | Like police officers, firefighters, doctors, paramedics, and pilots, nurses are at risk for developing shift work sleep disorder, a syndrome characterized by prolonged insomnia and excessive sleepiness due to the interruption of the body’s natural sleep-wake cycles. While having a nontraditional work schedule does not automatically lead to the disorder, an increasing number of jobs require shift work, and there has been a rise in the number of people reporting symptoms of the disorder.

Studies show that shift workers tend to both sleep fewer hours during each 24-hour period and experience less satisfactory sleep than non-shift workers. Over a prolonged period of time, the loss of sleep and normal sleep rhythms can lead to difficulty concentrating, remembering information, and making decisions. Other symptoms include impaired hand-eye coordination and increased reaction times, both of which pose risks in a medical setting.

Sleep deprivation among nurses has become one of the most common issues affecting the quality of care in hospitals as well as the physical and mental health of the care providers themselves. In addition to having have high rates of absenteeism and high incidents of automobile accidents, people who suffer from shift work sleep disorder are also at risk for developing serious health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, and depression.

Nurses and other shift workers cope with interrupted sleep cycles in a variety of ways, from drinking coffee to taking sleep aids, but the only true remedy for sleepiness is to sleep. For many workers with nontraditional work schedules, avoiding the disorder comes down to two things — making sleep a priority and learning to nap. Here are some tips for nurses to get a better’s night sleep:

Make sleep a priority: When it’s time to snooze, make your sleep space a “do not disturb” zone. Turn off the phone, and darken your bedroom with blackout shades or by wearing an eye mask.

Schedule exercise to aid sleep: Exercise is a key factor in establishing healthy sleep habits. Set aside time for aerobic exercise during the work week but not within three hours of bedtime. Since exercise raises your body temperature, it can be harder to fall asleep soon afterward.

Plan ahead: Begin to change your sleep schedule three days prior to a shift change. On each of the three days, adjust your bedtime and wake time by one to two hours so that your circadian rhythm has a chance to adjust before the change.

Nap smart: Night workers — especially those who have been awake for several hours prior to their shift — can benefit from a 30-minute nap prior to leaving for work. And, whenever possible, find a spot at work for a 10-minute catnap during your shift.

2 Responses to Nursing’s Biggest Occupational Hazard

  1. Nicole June 7, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    If, I am not bothering or hurting the emotions of others and earn honestly, I won’t get stressed and spend a sleepless night.
    ~Visit website

  2. henry October 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Nursing job is always a risk job as it is in the service sector jobs list generally they will be having night shift in their jobs. I am here in searching of professional cv service blog which can help me to build my resume according to my education and skill set.


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