April 27, 2023

Rest break practices of 12-hour shift nurses

Editor's Note

This study led by nurse researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, finds that rest break practices of 12-hour shift nurses are of poor quality.

Survey data from 806 nurses were analyzed.

Key findings include:

  • Most nurses did not take regular rest breaks.
  • Breaks were often interrupted, spent worrying about work, and rarely resulted in relaxation.
  • Common rest break activities included eating and browsing the internet.
  • Regardless of their workloads, nurses considered patient acuity, staffing, and unfinished tasks before deciding to take breaks.

The researchers concluded that nurses mainly consider workload-related factors before taking rest breaks, which warrants the attention of nursing administration.


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