Describe how workplace structure can disrupt family life, including women working night shifts. Explain issues that are especially difficult for foreign care workers. Describe ways mothers cope in both situations. What is the cost to the family and to the women?
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Workplace structure can have a significant effect on family life. Night shifts are not preferable to anybody, especially because they interfere with the body-clock (Circadian clock) and lead to health issues such as insomnia or excessive sleepiness. They also tend to make the worker more accident prone. Working graveyard shifts also means less time with one's family (causing marital strain and perhaps family dysfunction) and this is very disruptive, especially for women workers, since they are at a risk for problems related to fertility and pregnancy. Health care workers have to work long shifts and if it couples with night shifts, the effects are especially severe. A large portion of the US's care workers are foreign nationals (or have foreign origins). Working graveyard shifts in a foreign location (non-native location) may have more severe health issues as compared to those experienced by a native care giver, since physiological differences exist between nationals of different countries. Since women have, statistically, more domestic obligations than men, they end up paying a heavier price. Family suffers as well, as already mentioned.
Some steps can be taken to minimize the damage to a mother's health and family. These include shift rotation, shifts of shorter duration, proper health care (eating healthy), regular exercise, and obtaining proper amounts of sleep. A foreign-care female worker would do well to utilize shift rotation and shorter shifts (a greater number of shorter shifts) to minimize the damaging effects of working graveyard shifts.
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