Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Night Shift = Carcinogen?

I work as a Personal Care Attendant at a nursing home when I am not in clinical during the summers. Mostly, my work consists of feeding, bathing, and changing the nursing home residents. There are lots of advantages about my work. I now have lots of experience with patients with mobility difficulties. I am not overly grossed out by vast quantities of poop. I have a new respect for Liscened Practical Nurses. My job pays twice minimum wage, and is unionized so there are lots of benefits. The downsides? Lots and lots of poop. It's a really physical job. And I am casual, so I feel like I am attached to the phone at all times. I've learned that nursing home nursing isn't probably for me.
Yesterday, I read that the WHO listed overnight shift work as a possible carcinogen. Apparently this was announced in 2007. How depressing! Now not only do I have to deal with the fact that night shifts make me feel a little nauseous, and exhausted the whole day, but that I may possibly develop cancer from working them. Apparently, there is an association between light at night and breast cancer. Apparently, animals who have their light-dark schedules reversed develop tumors and die earlier.