Nurses working long shifts may need more than a break

 Nurses working long shifts may need more than a break

Nurses work long hoursIn a study conducted at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSN), researchers found that nurses working consecutive 12-hour shifts tend to make more mistakes than their well-rested counterparts.

In addition to the foot pain that many nurses experience, the team of scientists found that as much as 46 percent of the fatigued hospital personnel make moderate to severe mistakes as a result of long working hours.

"Over 50 percent of shifts were longer than 12.5 hours, and with long commutes and family responsibilities, nurses have very little opportunity to rest between shifts," said lead researcher Jeanne Geiger-Brown, PhD, RN, associate professor at UMSN.

Authors of the study suggested that hospitals end 12-hour scheduling to allow employees more sleep. In addition to the drowsiness that plagues nurses working extended hours, they may also begin to develop bunion, hammer toe or foot pain as a result of being on their feet all day or night.

However, nurses may not need to take time off from their already busy schedules for bunion surgery, as many podiatrists say bunion splints or orthotics may prevent or treat these conditions. 

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