Shift Work Sleep Disorder: Implications for the Occupational and Environmental Health Nurse Public Deposited

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  • January 2, 2020
  • Mensing, Linda
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Public Health Leadership Program
  • Approximately 20% of all workers in industrialized countries and 15 million Americans have work hours which overlap with the typical sleep period (United States [U.S.] Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007). All shift workers are at risk for shift work sleep disorder (SWSD), a type of circadian rhythm sleep disorder (CRSD) characterized by excessive sleepiness and insomnia. Approximately 10% of shift workers meet the diagnostic criteria for SWSD (Schwartz & Roth, 2006). Although shift work schedules and sleep insufficiency negatively affect health, safety, and the quality of life of workers, SWSD remains an under-recognized and undertreated condition. SWSD has serious medical, psychological, social, and quality of life consequences for individual workers. It also affects organizations through increased health care costs, impaired job performance, and decreased productivity (Schwartz & Roth, 2006). Fatigue in workers is a public health concern since it has been linked to industrial accidents, medical errors, and traffic injuries and fatalities. The occupational and environmental health nurse (OEHN) plays a vital role in management of SWSD in the workplace using a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach. Strategies such as adjusting work schedules, educating employees, families, supervisors, and managers about SWSD and adaptive strategies, and implementing early referral and treatment to affected workers may prevent or mitigate the negative consequences of SWSD. Keywords: occupational health nursing, shift work sleep disorder, workplace fatigue
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Paper type: Research or research design
  • Track: OHN
  • Randolph, Susan
  • Rogers, Bonnie
  • Master of Public Health
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2015
Deposit record
  • a2a1396f-14ac-4671-986a-20162bf999e9

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