Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The impact of fatigue on medication errors by registered nurses
by Watkins, Anne Marie, M.S.N., California State University, Long Beach, 2010, 60; 1490426
Abstract (Summary)

Fatigue in registered nurses (RNs) is an escalating health problem. Continued staffing shortages have extended work shifts in many hospitals. Patients are more acutely ill than ever before and hospital stays are much shorter than they used to be. Technology is rapidly changing along with treatment modalities requiring nurses to be constantly alert.

Fatigue is an overwhelming sensation of exhaustion that can affect judgment, perception and thought processes. Nurses may not even recognize the adverse effects of fatigue when they experience them. A University of Pennsylvania study found that fatigued nurses were 3 times more likely to make serious mistakes which include: medication errors, deviation from standard nursing practices, charting mistakes and errors in transcribing information.

The results of this study of RNs showed a correlation between the occurrence of medication errors and working more than 40 hours in a week. The implications of these results are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reyolds, Grace
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing, Health care management
Publication Number: 1490426
ISBN: 978-1-124-55040-4
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