Sleep Deprivation amongst Nurse Practitioners due to Long Work Shifts

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Sleep Deprivation amongst Nurse Practitioners due to Long Work Shifts

Eating well and staying hydrated at all times is life’s biological need. Similarly, science has proven that adequate sleep is equally crucial for the maintenance of life (Everson, 2009). One is able to work safely and stay healthy if spared 7-8 hours of sleep everyday. The stated sleep duration is indispensable for the reduced risks of injuries, cerebral vascular accidents, myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and errors (Colten & Altevogt, 2006).

Nursing is a profession that requires the practitioners to work long shifts. However, in most cases, nurses are required to work extended or consecutive shifts. This is likely to result in exhaustion making the nurse practitioners vulnerable to committing medical mistakes. Stimpfel, Sloane and Aiken found that the levels of patient dissatisfaction and burnout are greater when nurses at the hospital work longer shifts. This is an emerging issue particularly because nurses seem to now have been working shifts exceeding about 13 hours (2012).

A sleep-deprived nurse is likely to pose risks to those around them, especially the patients. Staff nurses, nurse managers and employers, all play an equal role in adopting effective strategies to enable the mitigation of these risks. The primary strategy that is likely to result in the reduction of risks associated with working long shifts and not getting enough sleep is prioritizing sleep while developing nurses’ work schedules...

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