Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
FISCHER, Frida Marina et al. How nursing staff perceive the duration and quality of sleep and levels of alertness. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.18, n.5, pp. 1261-1269. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2002000500018.
This study was conducted among health care personnel (registered nurses and nurse aides) in a public hospital in São Paulo, Brazil. Work was organized in 12-hour daytime or nighttime shifts, followed by 36 hours off. The study aimed to evaluate how the nursing staff perceived the duration and quality of sleep both during and off work days, as well as their perception of alertness during working hours. There were significant differences between night and day in the duration of sleep (Student t test = 10.82; p < 0.000). Quality of daytime sleep after working night shifts was perceived as worse than nighttime sleep (Wilcoxon test, Z = 2.67; p < 0.007). Significant differences were detected in self-evaluation of alertness after the 2nd, 6th, and 10th hour of night shifts (Friedman = 63.0; p < 0.00). Alertness was perceived as worse during dawn hours. This is an indication of sleepiness at work and can have serious consequences for both health care workers and patients.
Keywords : Shift Work; Nurses; Nurses' Aides; Sleep; Arousal.