Introduction Shift work can have an impact on the physical and psychological well-being of the health care worker. The impact can be manifold in developing countries like India, where health sector already suffers due to the poor doctor: nurse and nurse: population ratio. This study was conducted to compare the health outcomes and injuries, along with associated risk factors between the nurses working in Rotating Night Shift (RNS) as compared to Day Shift only (DS).
Methods It was a cross-sectional study conducted from June to November 2016 in a tertiary care hospital of Delhi. It involved 275 nurses working in rotating night shift and 275 nurses from day shift of various departments, selected through simple random sampling. Standard Shift Work Index Questionnaire (SSI) was used as the study instrument, with selected variables (according to objectives of the study). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, chi-square, t-test and multivariate regression.
Result The nurses working in rotating night shifts were found to have significantly lower mean scores in job satisfaction (p=0.04), sleep (p<0.001) and psychological well-being (p=0.047) as compared to day shift workers. Working on a contractual basis, rotating night shift and living outside the hospital campus were associated with higher odds of having needle stick injury (NSI).
Discussion This study revealed some modifiable targets for improving shift work adaptation, e.g sleep, job satisfaction and general health. These can be modified by including appropriate interventions in their training itself, such as behavioural changes for good sleep hygiene, counselling and periodic screening. Prevention of needle stick injuries is the best strategy, but setting up of adequate surveillance mechanism in every hospital is also necessary. Fixed timing and duration of duty hours in case of rotating shifts can also contribute to lesser human errors and better job satisfaction.
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