Women hospital staff working night shifts may be compromising their own health as they try to improve the health of patients. A study by Joan Tranmer, PhD, RN, investigated the connection between shift work and risk factors for heart disease in female hospital employees who worked both shift and non-shift rotations.
As a former nurse familiar with shift work and because of her concern about the health of the female hospital workforce, Tranmer questioned whether late nights were taking their toll on the health of her fellow hospital employees.
The findings of this study suggest approximately one in five middle-aged women who do shift work have at least three risk indicators for heart disease. The study also found age and current shift work status were significantly associated with increased risk. Women over 45 years, those who had reached menopause, had a shift work history of more than 6 years, and those currently working either 12 hour shifts or rotational shifts were more likely to have metabolic syndrome.
How does this make you feel about shift work? Do you feel you are at risk?