Women's experience of shiftwork in nursing whilst caring for children: A juggling act

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Aims and Objectives: To explore women's experiences of working shiftwork in nursing whilst caring for children. Background: In nursing, almost 90% of Australia's practising nurses and midwives are women. Much of the research undertaken in the shiftwork area uses men as their sample and uses a quantitative methodology to achieve results. Little work has been undertaken that explores the experience of women working shiftwork whilst raising children. Design: Heideggerian Hermeneutic Phenomenological Design. Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with ten women who cared for children about their experience of shiftwork. Each interview was digitally audio-recorded. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. The interpretation used first Heideggerian phenomenology as a lens and then second research on women's work and gender roles to resituate the experience in context. Reporting rigour has been demonstrated using the COREQ checklist. Results: Two major themes were derived from the data, Being Guilty and Being Juggler. Each is discussed in this paper. Conclusions: This study adds a qualitative voice to the substantial quantitative shiftwork body of literature. The themes uncovered in this study have thrown light on the nature of work done by women who are nurses, particularly the work related to their home and children. Relevance to Clinical Practice: There are opportunities to increase education around the importance of sleep and shiftwork self-care in both preservice and new graduate education to assist nurses to ensure that sleep is a priority whilst working shiftwork.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3817-3826
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number21-22
Early online date29 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


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