Nurse Health: 12 Hour Shifts Causing Nurse Burnout

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 10th, 2016

A survey of nurses in over 488 hospitals revealed that working 12 hour shifts is causing nurse burnout, defined as emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low personal accomplishment. The study also showed these nurses are more dissatisfied with their jobs and are more inclined to leave them. The researchers wrote that these outcomes “may pose safety risks for patients as well as for nurses.”

nurse healthOn paper, 12 hours shifts look like a great idea, giving nurses an extra day off. But the reality is that, with the high acuity of care, nurses are feeling overworked and overwhelmed with these long shifts. Some workers who like 12-hour shifts value the extended time off, and say that improves their morale and reduces absenteeism. However, these longer shifts allow time to work another job or go to school during the three-day weekends, which further exhausts many nurses.

While extended time off is a welcome advantage, 12-hour shifts can also be disruptive to family life and personal health by creating long-term stress.

To learn how to care for your nurses, reduce nurse burnout and increase nurse retention, visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Contact me today to talk about our astonishing ROI at SelfCare for HealthCare hospitals.

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