AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
In the News
Joint Commission recognizes the impact of health care worker fatigue on patient safety. In a Sentinel Event Alert issued at the end of 2011 (http://bit.ly/uNN6Aa), the Joint Commission outlined the effects and risks of successive extended workdays, as well as those related to single extended workdays. The alert lists effects such as the inability to stay focused, memory lapses, and a loss of empathy, citing support by several studies. Suggested actions include staff input into designing work schedules, implementing a fatigue-management plan similar to those derived from National Aeronautics and Space Administration studies, and staff education on sleep hygiene. For organizations that allow sleep breaks, the commission recommends evaluation of the environment to provide for full sleep protection.
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