The purpose of the study was to explore the unregistered health care staff’s perceptions of 12-hour shifts on work performance and patient care.
Many unregistered health care staff work 12-hour shifts. It is unclear whether 12-hour shifts are compatible with good quality care or work performance.
25 Health Care Assistants with experience of working 12-hour shifts in a range of care settings took part in semi-structured interviews or focus groups.
A wide range of views emerged on the perceived impact of 12-hour shifts on patient care and work performance in different settings. Negative outcomes were perceived to occur when 12-hour shifts were combined with short-staffing, three or more consecutive long shifts, high levels of demands, insufficient breaks and working with unfamiliar colleagues. Positive outcomes were perceived to be more likely in a context of control over shift patterns, sufficient staffing levels, and a supportive team climate.
The perceived relationship between 12-hour shifts and patient care and work performance varies with the patient context and wider workplace factors.
Thomson, L., Schneider, J. M., & Hare Duke, L. (in press). Unregistered health care staff's perceptions of 12 hour shifts: an interview study. Journal of Nursing Management, 25(7), https://doi.org/10.1111/jonm.12490