Feeling fatigue during night shifts can affect decision making and judgement but as Nursing Times reported last month some staff have been threatened with disciplinary action if they are caught asleep at night. This flies in the face of the Royal College of Nursing guidance that power napping between 20-45 minutes can reduce the risk of tiredness. This reminded me of an excellent article in our archive that explores the restorative effects of napping during night shifts and the benefits for nurses and ultimately patient care. You will find the evidence invaluable if you need to discuss the benefits of napping with your colleagues or manager.
The challenges of shift work are not solely an issue at night and there has been considerable discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of 12 hour shifts. In our second archive article Jane Ball highlights that nurses working for 12 hours are more likely to report poor-quality care, poor patient safety and more care left undone. The article looks at steps that can be taken to ensure that the wellbeing of nurses who work 12 hours shifts is maintained and patients safety is not compromised.
When I started nursing in the 1980s we had few options for treating wounds and many of the treatments we used were detrimental to the patient and destroyed healthy, healing tissue. We now know much more about how wounds heal and have a vast array of products at our fingertips. However it is essential that nurses know how to assess wounds holistically and our third article by Annemarie Brown provides a step by step guide. This article is part of a six part series that takes you through all aspects of wound management and is essential reading for anyone involved in tissue viability.