Sleep Deprivation

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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The Impaired Nurse: Sleep Deprivation

Amber Nye, SN

Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing

The Impaired Nurse: Sleep Deprivation

The impaired nurse is a major subject matter in evidence based research. Healthcare services are available twenty four hours a day, three hundred-sixty five days a year. With that being stated, shift work is a requirement in the healthcare field. Sleep deprivation is the lack of sleep due to an external stimulus preventing the opportunity of sleeping and this is a commonly known result of shift work in nurses. Sleep disorders commonly occur with nurses who work rotating shifts. Sleep quality is important, but sleep is not just about how many hours you get. Night shift workers have to sleep during the day which may interfere with their body’s rhythm telling them it is daytime and this jeopardizes their sleeping. This is where sleep deprivation comes into play.

Shift work is a major source of disturbances in the healthcare profession. Most healthcare employees have no say over which shift they work. Chan (2008) studied this by using subjective measurements. The Karolinska Sleep Questionnaire was used to address nurses’ sleep patterns. Chan (2008) found that sleep deprivation causes symptoms such as arousals, exacerbations of gastrointestinal problems, and lowers threshold. This is because the stress system is activated by this sleep situation and neuro-hormonal stress act in response and alters the immune system, which then effects the cognitive and limbic systems (Chan, 2008).

Strain is put on nurses who are sleep deprived from rotating shifts. Indications of sleep deprivation include headaches, gastric pain, neck and back pain, fatigue, depression, job stress, and sleep disturbances. Compared to nurses who work fixed day shifts to…...

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