A Study to Determine the Importance of Regular, Protected Breaks for Nurses

Tracy Roake

Department of Nursing, Danat Al Emarat Hospital, UAE

Dr. Tracy Roake, Department of Nursing, Danat Al Emarat Hospital, UAE.

Keywords: Public Health; Nurses; Mental Health


Public health systems and epidemiologists explore the importance and reality of mental health issues. Nurses work hard and have the dedication which is required to do their job and yet a lot of Nurses do not feel they are getting the required time to have a rest and recharge. Hospital policies around the world stipulate that Nurses who are scheduled for 12 hour shifts should get a minimum of two to three 15 minute breaks and one uninterrupted meal period [1]. The reality of patient demands and understaffed departments means they are lucky to get five minutes to themselves. Historically Nurses tend to put their patients’ needs first before they sit down, go to the bathroom, or grab a bite to eat. It has been said that due to staff shortages in the late 1970s, Nurses’ work hours were gradually extended, and today it is more common for Nurses to work 12 hour rotating shifts [2].
At the end of these 12 hour shifts, Nurses are exhausted with the added weight of knowing that they face the same challenge tomorrow. This study will take a look at the value of having regular protected breaks and the benefits this may bring to the organisation and their own mental health.

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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