Jun 9, 2008

Study of nurses highlights importance of sleep and effective schedules for shiftwork operations

ScienceDaily.com, a science-related press release website, has posted an item called "Nurses With Adverse Work Schedules Have Poor Sleep, Which Can Affect Their Work Performance." The post cites a study by researchers at the University of Maryland, first published at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which followed 2,273 nurses. As the headline suggests, poor sleep is affecting nurses work performance. Specifically, the item notes "According to the results, having inadequate sleep on three or more nights per week is associated with schedule-related poor sleep opportunity. Specifically, shift work, mandatory overtime, and on-call, quick returns, and long shifts increase the odds of having insufficient sleep. The worse the schedule, the worse the sleep for most nurses."

This study underscores several recurring themes of the National Shiftwork Information Center, namely:

* Sleep is particularly important for shiftworkers
* Smart managers make sure to implement sound shift schedules based on solid circadian physiology

There's also a good reminder in there about the importance of effectively managing overtime and on-call duty.

The National Shiftwork Information Center has a a list of shiftwork consulting firms to help 24/7 operations select and implement the most effective schedules.

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