Four additional hours in a shift makes a big difference to busy nurses, according to new data published in the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. Nurses working 12-hour shifts are more likely than those who put in 8 hours to experience anxiety, musculoskeletal disorders, disturbed sleep, and stress. The metaanalysis focused on 12 studies. The authors concluded that it was not so much the mere act of working for 12 hours, but the prolonged exposure to stressful situations that took a toll. Of note, critical thinking performance did not appear to be affected. Job satisfaction took a hit with many nurses—but not all; some actually reported higher satisfaction with a 12-hour workday, possibly because there was a difference in pay and professional status, the authors suggested. While the results are not conclusive, and do not necessarily reflect a “typical” experience for nurses working in the urgent care setting, they might spur discussion or an examination of what would work best in your urgent care center.
Longer Shifts = More Stress, Fatigue, and Less Satisfaction for Nurses