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A study of female nurses combining partner and parent roles with working a continuous three-shift roster : the impact on sleep, fatigue and stress
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Gemma ClissoldGemma Clissold, Peter SmithPeter Smith, Bruce AcuttBruce Acutt, Vitale Di MiliaVitale Di Milia
This study of female nurses working a continuous 3-shift roster found that the average sleep duration per 24-hours across the roster is almost one hour less for nurses who combine shift work, partner and parent roles. In particular, they are not free to use the later starting afternoon shift as an opportunity to repay the sleep debt incurred on night shift. The results show an interaction between work and family roles resulting in chronic fatigue that is a risk factor especially when combined with the acute fatigue associated with night work. The sleep record data is supported by interview data which highlight shiftwork as a stressor that reduces the opportunity for participation in social and leisure activities by all three of the groups studied: single, partnered and partnered with children. The strain of shift work on personal and social relationships reduces the resources available for coping with the emotional and physical stressors encountered by nurses in their work and family roles.