So why do it then? When there is so much evidence about the health risks of working the night shift, why would you put yourself through it? Well, many people don’t have a choice, and paramedic Tracey Loscar points out it does have its perks. “The schedule we have right now works quite well for my family… I get two weeks off every month. I work a long week but then I have seven consecutive days off and that’s seven consecutive days with my children and to make plans.”
“I knew what I was getting into,” she continues. “I’m very cognisant of my sleep schedule, I’m very cognisant of my physical activity and what you’re eating and I will cancel things in lieu of recovery time to make sure I try and mitigate it as much as I possible.”
She explains that night shift working can suit certain personality types: “I would say the kind of person that prefers or exclusively does night shifts is someone who is a little more introverted by nature.” She adds, “there’s less exposure to the public so you tend to find the people that prefer nights are the people who prefer to be left alone to do their job.”
But has doing 17 long years of night shifts not had any effect on her physical or mental health? “Well I sure spent a lot of it tired!” she laughs.
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