A quantitative exploration of strategies to reduce fatigue among nurses

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Karen R. Cochran (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Susan Letvak

Abstract: The work environment of nurses places them at high risk of fatigue. The literature suggests a high prevalence of fatigue exists among nurses. Fatigue leads to reduced cognitive and physical abilities increasing the risk for personal injury and patient care errors. Nurse fatigue should be mitigated in an effort to improve safety and quality in healthcare organizations. The purpose of this study was to describe nurses’ self-perceptions of fatigue and to examine nurses’ willingness to engage in specific fatigue countermeasures within the workplace. Data were collected through an anonymous Qualtrics survey. A sample of 279 nurses completed the survey. The Fatigue Assessment Scale (FAS) was used to measure fatigue. The instrument suggested a high level of fatigue within the sample. Findings revealed that 54% of the sample’s self-assessment of fatigue agreed with the established fatigue instrument. Exploring FAS scores for each self-rated fatigue category revealed that the remainder of the sample (46%) either over or under estimated their level of fatigue. This study revealed that many nurses are willing to work 9-hour shifts, limit consecutive 12-hour shifts to two, hand over patient care for a duty-free break, avoid working beyond their scheduled shift and avoid adding additional work days to their regular scheduled days. Nurse leaders are well positioned to implement these fatigue reduction strategies and to make changes to the work environment in an effort to alleviate fatigue among nurses. Further research is recommended to examine the impact of these changes on the occurrence of nurse fatigue.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Fatigue countermeasures, Fatigue management, Fatigue reduction, Nurse fatigue, Occupational safety, Patient safety
Nursing $x Safety measures
Fatigue in the workplace
Fatigue $x Prevention
Patients $x Safety measures

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