NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours
Action Steps for Nurse Managers (Continued)
Provide good supervisory support to staff, and encourage coworker support. Support has been shown to reduce the stresses of shift work.
Work with your institution to develop and provide supportive services when emergencies arise and demanding work schedules are unavoidable. These might include transportation home and onsite sleep or napping rooms for workers too tired to safely drive home, laundering of work clothes, and onsite child and elder care. Investigate what other services would enable nurses to work during emergencies.
Work with your institution to provide nutritious food and drinks onsite for night workers. Promote regular health assessments of staff to identify and treat health problems early. This is important since staff on shift work or long work hours are at higher risk for some illnesses.
By applying the content given in this training, you can help promote a healthy workplace culture that respects the need to sleep and recover from work and encourages other good health behaviors. This will likely promote higher job satisfaction among your staff and decreased turnover. A few actions on your part can make a significant difference in your staff’s ability to adapt to shift work and in the quality of care your staff can give to your patients.