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Nursing issues
Overtime on a rotating-shift pattern impacts nurses’ alertness increasing risks for patients
  1. Vittoria Sorice1,
  2. Jonathan Spackman2
  1. 1 Emergency Medicine, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Chesterfield, UK
  2. 2 Surgery, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Chesterfield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Vittoria Sorice, Emergency Medicine, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Chesterfield S44 5BL, UK; vittoria.sorice{at}

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Commentary on: Min A, Hong HC, Son S, et al. Overtime and alertness of rotating‐shift nurses: an observational study using ecological momentary assessment. J Clin Nurs 2022;11; doi:10.1111/JOCN.16218

Implications for practice and research

  • Differences between age, gender and clinical experience should be further explored in relation to alertness and overtime.

  • Organisations should be aware of the risks to patient care when relying on overtime to cover staff shortages.


Nurses are typically scheduled to work long rotating shifts and routinely incorporate overtime to allow hospitals to provide round-the-clock care to patients. This can exacerbate fatigue diminishing productivity and making nurses more prone to errors.1 Recent studies highlighted the association between nurses’ overtime and poor patient outcomes with a call for further research required.2 When studying the impact of overtime on alertness in rotating shifts, Min et al employed an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to allow …

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  • Twitter @vittoriasor

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.