Symptoms And Treatment Of Nursing Fatigue

1400 WordsOct 28, 20146 Pages
As nurses we are supposed to take care of our patients and their families, but that is a difficult task to perform when the nurses themselves are not cared for. Townsend & Anderson (2013), found that nurses that worked long shifts were more likely to be burned out and dissatisfied with their job, and were intending on leaving the profession within a year. Fatigue in itself is linked to decreases in alertness, memory, reaction time, and decision-making. There are many consequences that are due to nursing fatigue, which may be detrimental to the patient’s safety or the nurse’s. For instance, having a slowed reaction time and information processing, having compromised problem solving and critical thinking, experiencing lapses in attention to…show more content…
Martin (2014), found that “fatigue is correlated to nurse performance, and chronic fatigue is related to the number of hours worked.” Lack of Shift Restrictions In an ideal world, nurses’ hours would be limited in order for them to provide quality care for their patients. However, how can nurses provide patient satisfaction when they are clearly not able to care for themselves first? In comparison to other professions that have recognized and addressed the issue of fatigue from working long hours and the employee’s safety, although, the working hours of those in nursing profession has yet to be revised. In the medical field, residents’ work hours were reduced down to 80 hours per week in 2003, and the ACGME is still proposing further restrictions. Outside of the medical field, truck drivers are limited to solely eleven hours of driving, given a ten-hour break; along with railroad workers, who must also take a ten-hour break before starting a shift. Another time demanding profession is aviation, in which their administration allows pilots to fly only sixteen consecutive hours, and if a flight delay were to extend that pilot’s shift, then they must switch (Townsend & Anderson, 2013). It is said that the IOM only limits nurses to work twelve hours in a twenty-four hour period, although it is not implemented very well and there is research to prove it. Fatigued Nurses Due to the extended work hours to make up for the nursing shortage, the
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