The night shift: Follow the evidence to survive and thrive
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT health threats to current and future nurses is the demand that shiftwork places upon nurses, especially those nurses who primarily work the night shift. Most nurses begin their professional careers in hospitals, and many will spend some time in a job where night-shift work is required. Night-shift work has some positive aspects, such as the freedom to schedule activities during the daytime, a work environment generally free from distractions from administrative personnel and visitors, less concern with organizational imperatives and politics, and higher pay. But it also carries some potentially serious health risks. This article explores the possible physical and psychosocial consequences of working the night shift as well as strategies that may help nurses reduce the negative consequences of night-shift work.