Director of nursing at ADHB wants end to 12-hour shifts.
Subject: Nurses (Health aspects)
Shift work (Health aspects)
Shift work (Research)
Pub Date: 10/01/2011
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: Oct, 2011 Source Volume: 17 Source Issue: 9
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Product: Product Code: 8043100 Nurses NAICS Code: 621399 Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand
Accession Number: 271050306
Full Text: Auckland District Health Board's (DHB) executive director of nursing Taima Campbell's desire to end 12-hour shifts at the DHB's hospitals has been put on hold, at least until some aspects of a major study into the effects of shift work on nurse fatigue are known.

Campbell announced at a joint NZNO/management meeting earlier this year that she wanted an end to 12-hour shifts, which are worked extensively throughout Auckland City Hospital and exclusively at Starship Children's Hospital, citing excessive sick leave and difficulties covering that sick leave as reasons.

NZNO organiser Craig Muir said no figures had been produced to back up the sick leave claim. "Her original announcement put staff into panic mode as there was no indication there would be any consultation on the issue. But we have persuaded her to put any plans to end these shifts on hold for the moment," he said.

NZNO wanted her to wait until the results of a major Massey University Sleep/Wake Research Centre study into the impact of shift length and various shift patterns on nurse fatigue, a timeframe of 12-18 months. Campbell requested some additional information and has agreed to wait at least until the literature review component of the study is completed. NZNO will also be insisting that any change to shifts is done through the management of change clause in the NZNO/DHB multi-employment collective agreement. "We will ensure that staff have all the relevant information, there is a timeframe for any proposed change and there is genuine consultation and a chance for staff feedback," Muir said.

NZNO has appointed a team of delegates as a steering group for this process. The team members are Fiona Sowten, Deborah Harnett, Fiona Haylock, Mathew Koshy, Lyn Holden and Annelies Mittendorf.

Muir understands that ADHB is no longer employing new staff onto 12-hour shifts.

Muir said that when Campbell originally indicated she wanted to end 12-hour shifts, a number of staff had told him that said family, lifestyle, traffic and parking considerations would mean they would resign rather than return to eight-hour shifts. "The longer shifts are very popular among staff. They have the right to opt into the longer shifts--no-one is forced onto them--and the fact that so many have chosen to work the 12-hour shifts is proof of their popularity."

There are no 12-hour shifts at Green Lane Clinical Centre.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.