This issue of Workplace Health & Safety contains a Continuing Nursing Education Module on “Does Current Scientific Evidence Support a Link Between Light at Night and Breast Cancer Among Female Night-Shift Nurses? Review of Evidence and Implications for Occupational and Environmental Health Nurses.” 1.0 contact hour of continuing nursing education credit will be awarded by AAOHN upon successful completion of the posttest and evaluation.
A certificate will be awarded when the following requirements are met by the participant: (1) Participant logs on to the AAOHN LMS website at http://lms.aaohn.org and enrolls in the course ($10 members; $15 non-members); (2) The completed posttest and course evaluation are entered online at http://lms.aaohn.org on or before May 31, 2013; (3) A score of 75% (6 correct answers) is achieved by the participant.
Upon completion of this lesson, the occupational health nurse will be able to:
Discuss the epidemiological link between light at night and breast cancer risk.
AAOHN is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
AAOHN is additionally approved as a provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing (#CEP9283) and the Louisiana State Board of Nursing (#LSBN3).
Contact hour credits received for successful completion of the posttest and evaluation may be used for relicensure, certification, or re-certification.
The prevalence of breast cancer is highest in:
Which of the following statements is NOT true about the research on shift work and breast cancer?
Rotating to night shift is a greater risk when done for 20 or 30 years compared to not rotating shifts or rotating shifts for fewer years.
Working nights for many years put nurses at a higher risk for breast cancer compared to those who did not work nights.
Risk of breast cancer may be proportional to the number of consecutive night shifts worked.
Only 12-hour night shifts increase the risk for breast cancer.
Which of the following statements is true?
Melatonin suppression is clearly linked to light at night (LAN).
Melatonin supplementation should be used by nurses who work nights to prevent breast cancer.
The role of melatonin as a mediator between LAN and serum estrogen levels is unclear.
Melatonin suppression is only a risk factor in postmenopausal women.
Additional research is needed to investigate:
The association between shift work and clock gene polymorphism or gene expression linked to breast cancer.
The relationship between sleep quantity and quality and breast cancer.
The interaction among sun exposure, vitamin D levels, and breast cancer among shift workers.
All of the above.
Potential mechanisms mediating the relations between night-shift work and cancer include:
Less time in sunlight, low vitamin D, and exposure to LAN.
Tobacco use, phase shift, and breastfeeding.
Early onset of menstrual cycle, melatonin suppression, and sleep disruption.
Immune suppression, poor diet, and multiple pregnancies.
Limitations of previous research on LAN and breast cancer include:
Inconsistent definitions of shift work.
Presence of confounding variables.
Precise measurements of light.
All of the above.
Which of the following pieces of advice should NOT be given to nurses who work nights, based on evidence in the literature?
Eat a healthy diet
Engage in physical activity outside of work.
Discontinue working night shift.
Take steps to get sufficient quality and quantity of sleep.
On the basis of considerable epidemiological evidence, the authors recommend that nurses avoid LAN to reduce their risk of breast cancer.