1. Maynard, Maria ADN, RN

Article Content

One of the benefits of my new career as a nurse is the flexibility it provides. But this flexibility is offset by the need to work 12-hour shifts. The continuity of care that comes with an extended shift is beneficial to patients; however, patient safety-our paramount duty-can be compromised, as extra hours increase our levels of stress, fatigue, and burnout ("A UK Review Corroborates the Negative Consequences of 12-Hour Workdays," In the News, November 2015).


The suggestions made by Jeanne Geiger-Brown in this article are great and can help counteract the negative effects of 12-hour shifts. However, in the United States, executing them may be difficult, as nurses are not held accountable if they don't maintain adequate rest to deliver optimal patient care. In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, patient safety is taken very seriously. Consider the case of Athene Baiete-Coker, a UK nurse who-according to an article in the July 8, 2009, Daily Mail-was imprisoned for four months, suspended for 12 months, ordered to provide 250 hours of unpaid work, and fined for having two full-time nursing jobs. While law enforcement of such magnitude likely wouldn't happen in the United States, it is still up to nurses to be socially responsible, as we care for the public, whose lives are in our hands.


Maria Maynard, ADN, RN


South Ozone Park, NY