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Nurses 'going whole shifts without a glass of water'

THE majority of nurses regularly go through shifts without drinking water and taking breaks, a survey has found.

Three quarters of nurses do not have time to take a break during one or two shifts every week, according to the poll of 2,000 nurses by journal Nursing Standard.

Almost three in five said they are regularly unable to have a drink of water and more than half (57 per cent) said they did not have access to healthy food at work.

One nurse said she had received treatment for kidney stones because she had not been able to drink enough fluid, while another told of having a “total meltdown” and suicidal thoughts because of work pressures.

Kim Sunley, national officer for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said the findings make “very hard reading.”

She said: “Obviously in a crisis or emergency, absolutely, you wouldn’t go on your break, but when it becomes the norm that you don’t, that is unsustainable and leads to sick, exhausted and worn-out nurses.”

The topic of hydration is due to be debated at the RCN annual conference in Belfast, which begins this weekend.


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