Foreword Reviews

Survive Shift Work

Avoid Burnout and Discover Good Health

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Survive Shift Work shines a much-needed light on the pitfalls of graveyard shift jobs.

Stephen Wilmot’s Survive Shift Work proposes a compelling, easy-to-follow, and powerful means of handling the strain of nonstandard working hours.

Wilmot, a registered nurse specializing in forensic mental health care, experienced the draining effects of around-the-clock work: crippling fatigue, anxiety, and whole-person burnout. He channeled his personal struggles into research to benefit people working in law enforcement, medicine, hotels, and other professions with demanding schedules. An intriguing, brief history of such schedules shows how and when they became common, inviting questions about the value and necessity of around-the-clock work.

Because too many in these industries are accustomed to accepting burnout as an unavoidable reality, the book’s drive to deeply understand related fatigue and poor health, and to propose alternatives, is refreshing and helpful. Wilmot examines the physical, mental, and emotional tolls of working graveyard shifts, twelve-hour shifts, and other schedules that deviate from the convention of a nine-to-five workday. Life-changing recommendations for altering responses to stress and developing resilience will put a new, balanced life within reach, even for those on the most challenging schedules.

The text conveys scientific understandings in a clear, accessible way. Its view of health is holistic, and its proposed ways of thinking and living seem both possible and powerful. Alongside exposition, there are strong, helpful narrative scenes with real-life examples drawn from Wilmot’s personal experience and research; the opening scene recalls Wilmot’s first day at a prison mental health unit, and sizzles with intensity.

Impeccably organized, the book takes a problem-then-solution approach, giving proper weight to the negatives before diverting its full attention to working out the answer. It proceeds at a steady, methodical pace. The tone remains calm and affirming, if with the slightly distanced, boundary-conscious approach of a mental health adviser. Section introductions clearly explain what each part of the text will cover, maximizing the potential impact of the material.

Inviting critical thought and questioning, the book empowers its audience to embrace their own paths forward—a personal buy-in is essential to a new life that lasts. The direct, practical advice leaves room for shift workers to adapt information to the particular shapes and challenges of their jobs and schedules. Even in its adaptability, the book unwaveringly lives up to its promises.

Survive Shift Work shines a much-needed light on the pitfalls of graveyard shift jobs, but also offers a healthy way forward.

Reviewed by Melissa Wuske

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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