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.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 49/04M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Nursing, Health care management|
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