The Implact of Working 8 vs. 12 Hour Shifts on Fatigue Among Nurses

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1.2. Literature Review 1.2.1. The impact of working hours (12 vs. 8) 1.2.1.1. Nurse’s fatigue and job performance A considerable amount of literature has been published on the impact of working hours (8 vs. 12 hour shifts) on fatigue among the nurses. These studies revealed that twelve-hour shifts increase the risk of fatigue, reduce the level of alertness and performance, and therefore reduce the safety aspect compared to eight-hour shifts (Mitchell and Williamson, 1997; Dorrian et al., 2006; Dembe et al., 2009; Tasto et al., 1978). Mills et al. (1982) found that the risk of fatigues and performance errors are associated with the 12-hour shifts. Beside this, Jostone et al. (2002) revealed that nurses who are working for long hours are providing hasty performance with increased possibility of errors. Although evidence has concluded that long working hours increase the risk of fatigue, several studies have demonstrated contradictory results of the effect of working hours on fatigue and cognitive thinking. It argued that there is no difference between 12 and 8 hour shifts on nurse’s fatigue or critical thinking performance (Estabrooks et al., 2009). Supporting to this Todd et al. (1989) and Reid et al. (1993) claimed that there is no a distinction between the two shift systems in cognitive functions. However, a conducted study found that the risk of fatigue is increased at the end of 12-hour shifts, while there is no difference between the two shift systems in the critical thinking (Fields and Loveridge, 1988). Contrary, Ugrovics and Wright (1990) demonstrated that in the twelve hour-shifts the last hour is associated with an elevation of the level of fatigue and decrease the level of concentration. Furthermore, in a st... ... middle of paper ... ... social life issues. Supporting to these Todd et al. (1993) demonstrated that nurses with 8 hour shifts had a high level of satisfaction than nurses worked for 12 hour shifts. However, contradictory results were found in Stone et al.(2006) study. They reported a significant level of nurse’s satisfaction was revealed with 12-hour shifts than those with 8-hour shifts. Furthermore, in 1996 Golec et al. carried out a study to compare the effect of 8 and 12 hour shifts among ICU nurses. The finding revealed that the nurses with 12-hour shifts demonstrate less social and family disruption than 8-hour shifts. Nevertheless, 12-hour shifts reported more health, and wellbeing complains s than 8-hour shifts. In addition, the study indicated that although 12-hour shifts provide more days off, it appears to be insufficient to dispel the adverse effects on health and wellbeing.

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