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Family Friendly Policy and Optimum Shifts for Nurses - Essay Example

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The use of shifts is a popular method of providing 24 hour critical services used in many industries, including nursing. In a recent Labour Force survey, 3.7 million employees across the UK were determined to be shift workers (i.e. almost 14% of the entire workforce) (Royal College of Physicians, 2006)…
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Family Friendly Policy and Optimum Shifts for Nurses
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Download file to see previous pages It has been suggested that the UK economy is dependant on workers who work long hours, and if the EU chooses to remove the "opt-out" clause the UK will bode poorly (Cooper, 2003; Parker, 2006). At present, the UK Government wishes to be informed of the multitude of views of stakeholders affected by the consequences of long working shifts. Input is expected to be used to collaboratively construct better legislation and policies that focus on the health and well being of shift workers. Inclusive deliberation over policy aligns UK best practices with those of the European Union (EU), which is currently renewing the 1993 Working Time Directive (93/104/EC) (Department of Trade and Industry [DTI], 2004).
This paper aims to review shift working patterns and family friendly policies for nurses in the UK. Firstly, family friendly policies with regard to labour in the UK will be presented. Secondly, shift pattern differences between 8 and 12 hours shall be discussed with regard to family life. Thirdly, the effects of shift patterns on older nurses and their perceptions of shift work affects on family life will be delineated. Next, recommendations for best practices within the UK shall be provided. Finally, a conclusion shall synthesise the main points of the paper.
It has been stated by the UK Government that it will implement changes to the European Working Time Directive (what is known as the Horizon...
It is reported that a large number of workers in the UK work in excess of a 48 hours (Royal College of Physicians, 2006).
Family friendly policies focus on the psycho-social aspects of work, and highlight the importance of values and interaction between children and caregivers, not only to these parties, but also to the wider community, and subsequently social environments that overlap with work (Nickson, Warhurst, Lockyer & Dutton, 2004). Children gain from family friendly policies by way of; socialisation; well being; education; reduced risk of anti-social behaviour; and alternative models for the female role (i.e., as equal participants). Caregivers have the opportunity for increased identity integration and satisfaction with life in general by participating in family-oriented activities. An organisation such as a hospital or other health care delivery environment will benefit from enhanced work performance, better communication and interpersonal skills of staff, and increased high quality care for patients, resulting in both patient and employee (Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC], 2006). From a social point of view, enhanced family functioning, intergenerational and inter gender relationships, combined with a positive view toward childbearing, can boost and maintain a sustainable economy.
A good example of inclusive family policies is reflected in the recognition of fatherhood as a valuable psycho-social experience. Since the 1960s radical changes within family structure have taken place (e.g., nuclear families may now be extended to include relatives, step-, bi-racial; adopted; same-sex or single-parent). As such, prioritise have changed, and the contemporary dad wants to spend ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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