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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 November 7 - 13  > 60% of nurses under two-shift system work more than 16 hours on night shifts
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2018 November 7 - 13 [LABOR]

60% of nurses under two-shift system work more than 16 hours on night shifts

November 13, 2018
The Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions (Iroren) on November 12 published the survey results showing that nearly 60% of nursing staff under the two-shift work system worked more than 16 hours on night shifts.

The union conducts the survey every year to find out the actual situation of night work. This year’s survey was carried out in June on more than 200,000 nurses and nursing assistants.

In the survey, the percentage of medical institutions that use the two-shift work system hit an all-time high of 39.2%. Among these facilities, 59.2% imposed a 16-hour or longer night shift on nursing staff. The ratio went up from 43.1% in the last year’s survey.

The number of night shifts a nurse worked per month increased. Under the law on measures to attract workers to nursing jobs, the number of night shifts is limited to nine times a month for nurses under the three-shift system and 4.5 times a month for nurses under the two-shift system.

However, in the Iroren survey, regarding nurses under the three-shift system, the percentage of nurses who were assigned to night duty more than the legally-set limit increased to 24.4% from 23.9% in the previous survey. As for nurses under the two-shift system, the ratio increased to 35.6% from 31.8%. Compared with other nurses, nurses working in Intensive Care Units or Coronary Care Units were more likely to work night shifts above the maximum monthly limit as shown by the following figures: 39.8% of ICU/CCU nurses under the three-shift system and 58.5% of those under the two-shift system.

Iroren has long been making various efforts, such as a signature-collection campaign, to solve the issue of excessively long working hours through an increase in the number of nursing personnel.

Past related article:
> 70% of nurses suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome: union survey [September 21, 2017]
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