The nurse personnel working during the night in the healthcare organizations are generally known as Night shift nurses. Above all, their contributions to the well-being of the patients are underappreciated by society. They work while the others sleep with constant monitoring while being on standby in case of any emergency. Hence they are one of the most misunderstood and undervalued night shift jobs in existence.
The duration of the night shift varies from each healthcare facility and hospital. Generally, the night shift starts at 11 PM and ends at 7 AM. While some nurses can start their shift as early as 8 PM, they usually return home in the morning. As an example, the nurses sleep for a certain time during their shifts. The nap time usually lasts for about 90 minutes at a time. This enables the nurses to be alert and more productive. The nurses can also use their lunch break as nap time during extreme situations. Thus the best night shift schedules for nurses always incorporate a certain amount of nap times during shifts.
Night shift nurses also try to stick to the same sleep schedules every day of the week. This helps to align their body clock with their sleep schedule. Proper working conditions are required for maintaining the good health of the nurses during their shifts. As such, some of the pros and cons of night shift nurses are shown hereafter.
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Pros of night shift nurses
- They have the benefit of being hired easily. They also have a close work relationship with each other. As the workplace is less hectic and tense during the night, they can foster very close friendships. Good coworkers are also essential to attain the quality of work-life in any workplace.
- They also enjoy higher pay than others. Although the working hours may be the same, night shift nurses are generally compensated more. Proper compensation can be a way to motivate the nurses during their job.
- Working during the night can also provide us with more family time with our loved ones. A night shift nurse can spend their valuable time with their children, husband, parents, etc. easily while they work. Furthermore, it also helps the nurses to attend various important activities easily.
- The nurses can also uplift their educational background while working a night shift. Many educational institutions operate during the day, which provides time to further their studies. This can help build their career while having a stable source of income.
Cons of night shift nurses
- They are found to have poor health conditions. They are also very susceptible to have chronic diseases and organ failure in the long run. The mortality rate is also 11% higher while working during the night for a long period of time.
- They can also suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. As they have a hard time falling asleep during the day, this can also hamper the mental health of the nurses. They are also very prone to depression and have weak mental health.
- Many nurses find it hard to control their eating habits during the night shift. Constant intake of food can result in unwanted weight gain and obesity. They can be fatal in the long run. Furthermore, there is also the risk of diabetes due to food consumption during the night.
Our final thoughts
Night shift nurses are some of the most important health workers in medical organizations. They sacrifice their sleep and dedicate themselves to the care of others. This can seriously affect their health in the long run. Hence, we should appreciate their contributions and treat them with respect. Furthermore, we should try to create a proper and stress-free working environment for them.