Nurses' Health Issues

940 Words4 Pages
Nurses Health Issues Introduction Nurses working the late shift (3-11, or overnight, 11-7) are subject to negative impacts due to physical and mental health issues. This paper delves into those issues for nurses and provides scholarly reference information detailing those health matters. Literature Review Nursing and Shift Work Sarah Bills explains that about 4.6% of American employees work the 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. shift and 3.5% of workers are at work from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Meanwhile healthcare services require specific skills, including "human cognition and executive functions" including logic, judgment, decision-making that is often complex, vigilance, memory, detection, good communication and the careful management of technical information (Bills, 2008). But because the circadian rhythm is "disturbed" by working at night and sleeping during the day, and hence when the body's natural circadian rhythm is disturbed, it presents hardships like "…fatigue and a decreased ability to concentrate…increased levels of stress" along with a lessening of positive social interaction (Bills, 3). Also, colorectal cancers are known to result from sleep deprivation, Bills adds. Meanwhile, peptic ulcers were "…twice as frequent among former shift workers as day workers," according to research of former night shift nurses that was published in the Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, Volume 2 (Stellman, 1998). Another pair of studies that Stellman references by
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