Night Shifts! To some nurses it is something very unpleasant and they never like seeing it on the roster. The idea of leaving your comfortable bed at home makes one unhappy. But what can you do? That’s the job we find ourselves in. As long as you are a nurse night shift is something common you may have experienced.
To others night duty is a gold mine. Going for four days and getting three days off seems a fair deal. Sometimes you may get all the weekends off. Some nurses even go to the extreme requesting for a month of night shift and a month off. But what’s the catch?
According to research conducted on a total of 115,535 women (nurses), about 9% of them developed heart diseases over the period of 24 years follow-up. Women who work at least three-night shifts per month were found to be 27% more likely to develop heart disease than those who did not.
The research also indicated that women working nightshifts for longer periods of time were at the higher end of the risk spectrum than those with less experience. Women working night shifts for ten or more years had 13–27% greater risk for heart disease than those with no night shifts, while women with less than five years of night shift experience had up to 10% increased risk.
The good news was that the increased risk for heart disease diminishes over time once nurses stop working night shifts.
So maybe the next time you think of requesting a lot of night shifts, think again.