The Impact Of Shift Work On Health Of Employee

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Question :

HI6008 Business Research

For this assessment, students are expected to present a written research proposal that is based on the literature review (Assessment 1) and demonstrates their understanding of business research/research paradigm. Based on their literature review, students are required to write a business research proposal outlining the details of the proposed research project that addresses the gaps identified in the literature. Derived from the business topic, the proposal needs to include clearly state research questions (primary and secondary), and provide a solid research methodology that supports the feasibility of the research project. Marking criteria of the research proposal include: the justification of the research questions that operationalize the research topic; the demonstration of a detailed research methodology addressing research instrument, sample size and sampling approach, research location/s and schedule as well as providing a critical assessment of the limitations of the methodology and the expected outcome of the research project.

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Answer :


Assessment 2: Research proposal 

1. Introduction

1.1 Background of the research

In the current era, shift work has been a necessity in a number of the healthcare organizations around the world. In the opinion of von Treuer Fuller-Tyszkiewicz and Little (2014), with the advent of time, the healthcare sector is flourishing more and thus, they are focusing more towards catering a more detailed and centered care to the patients. Furthermore, with the introduction of person centered care in the healthcare sector, the need to provide them facility all the day round has been an indispensable part in the healthcare sector. In a study conducted by Mullins et al. (2014), it has been witnessed that in a majority of the NHS hospitals, patients are being provided with services, facilities and treatment procedure on a 24 hours basis. Henceforth, it has called for the need to adequate staff who shall be available for the healthcare sectors all day round. However, in a number of healthcare sectors, the staffs work on a 12 hour basis, thereby, completing one shift  and the other staffs work in the another shift. 

However, this time shift of work on the healthcare employees and professionals has called for a number of arguments in the recent years. As stated by Zboril-Benson (2016), this shift of work is a mere breach of the employment rules and regulations where employee or staffs shall not be entitled to work more than certain hours in a week. As reported by Li et al. (2014), these long hours of shifts often cause physical and mental issues to staffs and they shall also feel stressed out and tired. However, while the purpose of these staffs is to cater service to the patients and look after them, their tiredness and stress often result in some adverse effects. It is also detrimental for the patients. 

1.2 Purpose of the research 

The purpose of the current research is to find out the prevalence of shift work among staff across the different healthcare sectors. At the very beginning, the number of healthcare sectors where time shift is integrated shall be evaluated. After that, there shall be analysis of the problems associated with long hours shift on the health and minds of people. The understanding of the adverse impacts of shift work shall help the healthcare sectors to work as per the employment rules and legislations in the concerned country. Therefore, the issues which are associated with the shift of work shall be understood and curbed out with the help of the current research. 

1.3 Scope of the research 

The current research would help in understanding of the difference between the number of staffs in day shift and night shifts. This is because night shift staffs are often lesser in number compared to day shift staff and also they are more prone to issues of fatigue, stress and anxiety. Moreover, the research would also be helpful in identifying the hours for which staff work in shifts in the different healthcare organizations. Thus, with the collected data, there shall be more awareness of the government regarding employment hours  and the issues shall be solved. 

1.4 Aims and objectives

The aim of the current research is to find out the impact of shift work on the health and mental state of the staff working in different healthcare organizations. In order to fulfill this aim, the objectives of the current research are:

  • To find out the rate in which difference in time shift of staff persists in the different healthcare sectors
  • To evaluate the difference between number of staff in day shift and night shift
  • To analyze the difference in impact of the two shifts on  staff

2. Literature review 

2.1 Rate and prevalence of shift work 

In healthcare organizations, it is important to provide services to patients all the day round and henceforth, the nurses and other healthcare staffs are needed to be present in the hospital all the time. However, as reported by Linton et al. (2015), in order to curb out the issues of breaching legal compliances, the time shift in the hospitals have been segregated into two 12 hours shifts. In a majority of the healthcare organizations, the staffs work for 12 hours. However, this is also a factor of breaching the legal policies as average time shaft of healthcare staffs in Australia should be no more than 38 hours. 

2.2 Day shift and night shift 

In healthcare sectors, the time shift is divided into two sections which are day shift and night shift. As stated by Crain et al. (2014), it has been witnessed in most of the organizations that the number of staff in night shift is comparatively less than staffs in day shifts. However, the prime issue that persists is that staffs are often asked to do their shit interchangeably which exert a number of impacts on the health of people. 

2.3 The impact of two shifts on staff 

According to Harris et al. (2014), people who do their shifts interchangeably often find difficulty in sleeping and suffer from sleeping disorders. Along with that, as studied by Ollier-Malaterre  and Foucreault (2017), as per the average working hours of healthcare staffs stated by the government, the staffs usually work for more prolong hours which result in tiredness and anxiety as well. Thus, it becomes detrimental for the patients as well because stress and tiredness of the staffs shall result in misleading of treatment process of the patients. 

3. Research methodology 

3.1 Research paradigm 

The process by means of which the data collection procedure and analysis of it is conducted in a research is termed as research paradigm. Therefore, the type of data that is collected in a research determines the research paradigm that would be selected in the research. As stated by Kothari (2004), the different types of research paradigm are positivism, constructivism, post positivism, and interpretivism. The research paradigm that will be selected in the current research is positivism. It has been selected because the proposed dissertation aims at examining the impact of shift work on health and mind of healthcare staffs.  

3.2 Research design 

The types of research design are descriptive, exploratory and explanatory. The research design which has been selected in the proposed dissertation is descriptive research design. As mentioned by Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), descriptive research design is associated with the selection of data in a research in compliance with the aims and objectives of the research. The aims and objectives of the proposed research is to find out the impact of shift work on health of staff and thus, the descriptive research design shall help in finding out the desired data through direct interactions such as survey and interview. 

3.3 Research approach 

The two types of research approaches are deductive research approach and inductive research approach. According to Yin (2013), deductive research approach is associated with the testing of already prevalent theories while inductive theory is associated with development of new theories. In the proposed research, deductive research shall be selected because the data that is available on impact of shift work and its associated aspects on healthcare staff. 

3.4 Data collection type 

According to Kothari (2004), the two types of data are primary and secondary data. The data that will be collected in the proposed research is primary data. The two types of data that will be collected are primary qualitative data and primary quantitative data. Primary qualitative data would help in understanding the impact of day shift and night shift on healthcare staffs. Primary quantitative data would help in understanding of the factual and statistical data regarding the rates and prevalence of shift work in healthcare organizations. 

3.5 Data collection process and analysis 

The two types of data which will be collected in the proposed research are primary qualitative data and primary quantitative data. As influenced by Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), direct interactive process would be selected for the data collection process. A survey would be collected for collecting primary quantitative data and interview will be conducted for collecting primary qualitative data. Primary quantitative data will be analyzed through statistical analysis and primary qualitative data will be analyzed through descriptive analysis. A closed ended questionnaire will be provided to the survey participants for qualitative data and an open ended questionnaire will be presented to the interview participants for collecting qualitative data.  

3.6 Sampling size and technique 

The sampling for the survey would be the staffs who work in the various healthcare organizations in Australia. The size of sampling for survey would be 145. In case of the interview, the participants would include the managerial sector of the various healthcare organizations. The number would include 15. The sampling technique for survey would be random sampling and for interview, it would be purposive sampling. 

3.7 Ethical considerations 

The Data Protection Act 1988 shall be complied to while conducting the data analysis procedure. Primarily, the participants would not be forced to take part in the data collection process and also they will be allowed to withdraw from the data collection process at any point of time they want. Furthermore, the personal data shared by the participants shall not be used for any other purpose and they shall also be assured of the maintenance of confidentiality of those data. The data shared by informants shall be stored in system encrypted with passwords. 

4. Anticipated findings

The completion of the current research shall help in finding out the impact of shift work on mental state and health of people. After the completion of the current research, it shall be favorable in understanding the rate of prevalence of shift work in healthcare organizations. Furthermore, it shall also be helpful in finding out the time shifts of different staffs in different healthcare organizations. The mental state of those staff shall be helpful in analysis of the impact of shift work on staff.