A new study about the ill effects of shift work and lack of sleep found shift work (evening, irregular or unspecified shifts, mixed schedules, night shifts and rotating shifts) is linked to more heart attacks and strokes. Night shifts, in particular, were associated with the steepest increase in risk for coronary events (41 percent), according to the authors, who recommend educating shift workers on heart symptoms. This is important information for nurses as most acute care nurses work off shifts. This is also good information for unionized nurses as we struggle to place limits on mandatory overtime, better regulate shift rotation, demand appropriate sleep time between shifts and fight for improvements in our shift differentials. This is just another example of nurses, literally, putting their very lives on the line every day to provide care for patients. Never apologize for demanding better working conditions or higher pay for what you do. You deserve it!
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