What they've long known about truck drivers, airplane pilots and doctors, researchers also are discovering about nurses: Those who work more than 12 straight hours make more mistakes.
Nurses who worked shifts lasting at least 12.5 hours were three times more likely to commit an error, such as giving a patient the wrong medicine or the wrong dose, than nurses who worked less than 8.5 hours, about a regular shift, according to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
Full Article: http://www.boston.com/business/artic..._nurse_errors/
Jul 8, '04
this research is published in the journal health affairs:
the working hours of hospital staff nurses and patient safety
ann e. rogers, wei-ting hwang, linda d. scott, linda h. aiken and david f. dinges
the use of extended work shifts and overtime has escalated as hospitals cope with a shortage of registered nurses (rns). little is known, however, about the prevalence of these extended work periods and their effects on patient safety. logbooks completed by 393 hospital staff nurses revealed that participants usually worked longer than scheduled and that approximately 40 percent of the 5,317 work shifts they logged exceeded twelve hours. the risks of making an error were significantly increased when work shifts were longer than twelve hours, when nurses worked overtime, or when they worked more than forty hours per week.
article (subscription/one time payment):
hospital nurses' working hours
Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jul 8, '04