Hospitals need nurses to work around the clock. This isn’t a job that is limited only to Monday through Friday during the day. Unfortunately, many of the overnight shifts that hospitals need covered are handled by newer nurses. Even though patients will likely get excellent care, the nurses are at an increased risk of suffering from injuries.
There are many different reasons why nurses might be injured on the overnight shift. Understanding these might help them to remain a bit safer as they take care of the patients who count on them.
Fatigue might contribute to issues
The human body isn’t programmed to stay awake in the nighttime hours. Because of this, even a well-rested nurse might suffer from fatigue during a shift. This can make it difficult to make snap decisions that are often required. It can also make it harder to care for patients while remembering basic safety rules.
Another issue that night shift nurses face is that they might not have the same staffing levels that day shift nurses have. It is often assumed that most departments in a hospital will have sleeping patients in the overnight hours. While this might be the case, it also means that when there is an active night, the nurses that are on the shift might face some remarkable challenges that can make it hard to follow proper protocols.
Possible injuries that can occur
Night shift nurses face the same types of injuries that other nurses face. The difference is that there is an increase in the chance that nurses will suffer some very specific injuries, such as a poke from a needle. They are also at an increased risk of overuse injuries, such as sprains and strains.
Not limited only to overnight shifts
It is interesting to note that the same risks that overnight nurses face are also present when a nurse is working overtime. Many nurses work 12-hour shifts. While this allows them to not have to work five days in a row, there is a chance that it will put them at an increased risk of suffering from an injury.
Combating injuries on night shift
All nurses, even those who need to work the overnight shift should be given the tools they need to stay safe. This means ensuring that they have adequate staffing and can take necessary precautions throughout a shift without patients suffering.