Study: Longer Breaks Between Shifts Help Nurses Recover Faster
Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2015 10:09 AM
According to a new study, allowing nurses longer rest and recovery periods between shifts may improve their sleep, ability to work, and overall well-being. Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health studied female shift-working nurses and the number and length of the breaks they took. Nurses were then surveyed and had their heart rates measured after one year.
Researchers found longer breaks between shifts enhanced the nurses' ability to recover from work. Changes in nurses' sleep patterns "were reflective of stress, and a transition to a state of relaxation." Researchers recommend scheduling using a forward-rotating system where shifts are always followed by a shift that starts later (i.e. morning shift followed by an evening shift).
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