Working at night is an essential part of providing a comprehensive 24-hour service for patients in the NHS, but it obviously causes sleep deprivation and fatigue for the doctors who provide that service. Night work can therefore have serious consequences for both patient and doctor safety, as it increases the risk of making poor decisions or even mistakes.
This succinct guide provides straightforward advice on how best to prepare before working night shifts, how to stay alert and refreshed while on duty, and how to recover from working nights. The advice is clearly presented, enabling junior doctors to maximise their ability to cope with working at a time when their bodies want to sleep.
The guide has been prepared on behalf of a multidisciplinary working group convened by the Royal College of Physicians and led by Nicholas Horrocks and Roy Pounder. It will be an invaluable resource for junior doctors and indeed, many others who work night shifts in hospitals.