Online Course Educates Nurses on Shift Work, Long Hours
NIOSH released a new online course intended to educate nurses and their managers about the health and safety risks associated with shift work and long work hours, and strategies to reduce these risks both in and outside the workplace. The course also discusses individual differences that influence a nurse’s ability to adjust to shift work and long work hours; strategies for managers to improve the design of work schedules; and strategies that nurses can use outside of work to help reduce health and safety risks. The training incorporates quizzes and video testimonials from nurses. Research has shown that shift work and long work hours are associated with job-related accidents, negative health behaviors such as smoking, and increased short-term and long-term health risks. “Healthcare is the fastest growing sector in the U.S. economy with nurses working shift-work schedules to provide services around the clock,” said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard. “This course provides strategies for reducing risks on the job for both employers and their workers, and shows how innovative training can fill a need in ensuring workplace safety and health.” The course is divided into two parts, and may be taken at any time or over a series of 15- or 20-minute time periods as nurses’ schedules permit. The training is free and may be accessed from desktop and mobile devices via NIOSH’s website.