Living with diabetes blog

Diabetes and shift work

By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N. and Peggy Moreland, R.N. August 6, 2009

Do you have diabetes and work varying shifts? Do you work the night shift and find it hard to follow a diet and keep your sugars in order when you sleep during the day? Sometimes eating when working is when you get a chance to grab a bite. If there is no set schedule, hang in there. Managing diabetes while working varying shifts can be a challenge, but with a bit of thought, education and a plan, you can do a great job.

Take responsibility for your own care. Let your employer know that you have diabetes. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employers provide reasonable adjustments or modifications to accommodate people with diabetes depending on the needs of the individual. Some employees may need one or more of the following accommodations:

  • Private area to test blood sugar or to take insulin
  • Place to rest until a low blood sugar returns to normal
  • Regular breaks to eat or drink, take medicine, or to test blood sugar
  • Leave for treatment, recuperation, or training on managing diabetes
  • Modified work schedule or shift change — you may need a note from your physician indicating that shift work interferes with your sleep, eating routine, and schedule of insulin shots that is making it difficult to manage your diabetes
  • Allowing a person with diabetic neuropathy to use a stool

In the next blog we will share different strategies you can use to better manage your blood sugar when working different shifts. We want to hear how you manage your diabetes at work. Do you let your co-workers know that you have diabetes? Share your workplace diabetes management tips with others so that others can learn from your experience.

Peggy

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Aug. 06, 2009