NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours
Action Steps for Nurse Managers (Continued)
Design Good Schedules
Follow recommendations of shift work researchers when designing work schedules. Obtain input from staff about their schedules and allow some flexibility. Give consideration to each nurse’s non-work responsibilities and individual factors that influence how a person will tolerate shift work and long work hours.
Educate Yourself and Your Staff
Promote education of your staff about sleep, circadian rhythms, and strategies to reduce risks when on shift work and long work shifts. Schedule all staff to take this training, and schedule updates periodically. Make the training part of new-employee orientation.
Work on developing a strategy for staffing the unit when shortages occur that will not put unnecessary demands on workers, and be sure to obtain input from your staff for the plan.