Sunshine good medicine for nurses, study says

Sunshine good medicine for nurses, study says

Researchers at Cornell University say nurses who get plenty of exposure to daylight are happier, communicate better and serve their patients more effectively.  It can even reduce their blood pressure.

“The increase in positive sociability, as measured by the occurrence of frequent laughter, was … significant,” said study leader Rana Zadeh, assistant professor of design and environmental analysis, in a news release.

When natural light was infused into nurse workstations, it “improved alertness and mood restoration,” Zadeh said.

But study leaders acknowledged that it can be challenging to make that happen given the long, and commonly, overnight shifts nurses work.

Despite those challenges, health care organizations should do all they can to let the sun shine in as it may ultimately benefit patient care too.

“Nurses save lives and deal with complications every day,” Zadeh said.  “It can be a very intense and stressful work environment, which is why humor and a good mood are integral to the nursing profession. A smart and affordable way to bring positive mood – and laughter – into the workplace, is designing the right workspace for it.”

When it’s not possible to allow natural light to flood the scene, researchers suggest “optimizing electric lighting in terms of spectrum, intensity and variability to support circadian rhythms.”

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.