Emergency responders aren't immune to the impact of shift work and sleep deprivation. Here are four top takeaways from The BMJ review that are most applicable to paramedics, firefighters, telecommunicators and police officers.
1. Most shift work has a negative effect on sleep quality and sleep duration, particularly those personnel who work early morning or night shifts.
2. Emergency responders need a chance to recover from shift work, this means getting more than 11 hours off between shifts and getting more than a day or two off between bouts of shift work.
3. There is likely a dose-dependent relationship between shift work and many poor health outcomes, meaning that the longer an emergency responder does shift work the higher their risk is for a poor health outcome.
4. The connections between shift work and sleep, and sleep and health outcomes are relatively established, however it’s hypothesized that there is a direct connection between shift work and negative health outcomes.
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