AN EXPLORATION OF CRITICAL CARE NURSES’ EXPERIENCE OF NIGHT SHIFT FATIGUE AND WORKPLACE NAPPING: BRINGING IT OUT FROM UNDER THE COVERS
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Recently, there has been increasing recognition of the threat of fatigue on safety. Nursing has been slow to recognize this threat. Workplace napping is a fatigue management strategy that is used in some nursing workplaces, although often hidden. This feminist interpretive phenomenological study explored the lived experience of night shift fatigue and the use of workplace napping among critical care nurses. An understanding of the meaning of night shift fatigue, the concern for safety as embodied by fear, was illuminated by exploring the phenomenological commonalities within the nurses’ historical, social and cultural world. Five main themes were identified within this overarching understanding. There is a need to recognize oppressive constraints, and share the responsibility for managing fatigue among individuals, professions and organizations. In education, practice and research, nurses must be supported through validated evidence-informed strategies to manage what is a normal consequence of shift work, thus leading to enhanced safety for both the patient and nurse.