Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

'Fatigue during night shifts can affect decision making'


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.


Readers' comments (5)

  • Having difficulty accessing this article - is there another link?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Yes, I am having difficulty too. Can you attach it as a word for windows document please

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Nursing Times

    Hi Anonymous and Christiane,

    Apologies, there were problems with the way this article displayed in the first couple of hours of it being live, however these have been resolved and you should now be able to read it.

    If you continue to have problems please contact our digital engagement editor at

    Many thanks,
    Nursing Times

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • michael stone

    Whoever would have guessed 'Fatigue during night shifts can affect decision making' ?

    There is someone called Susanne Stevens who comments on BMJ. There was a BMJ piece titled 'What would a “responsible health secretary” do?'.

    Susanne commented:

    Get more rest. Tired politicians kill.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I am also having difficulty in accessing this article

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.