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Long shifts compromise care

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In some European countries, nursing shifts of 12 hours now 'seem to be the norm', new research has suggested. The study also found nurses in England work more overtime than in any other nation. However, long shifts may damage patient care.

Researchers surveyed 31,627 registered nurses in general medical and surgical units from 488 hospitals in 12 European countries. In England, the researchers surveyed 2918 nurses from 46 hospitals.

Shift length differed widely. In Poland, for example, 78% and 99% of day and night shifts respectively were between 12 and 13 hours long. In Ireland, 73% and 79% of day and night shifts respectively lasted between 12 and 13 hours. In contrast, in Norway, 90% of day shifts were eight hours or less and 96% of night shifts were


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