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A National Study Links Nurses’ Physical and Mental Health to Medical Errors and Perceived Worksite Wellness

Melnyk Bernadette Mazurek PhD RN; Orsolini, Liana PhD, RN; Tan, Alai PhD; Arslanian-Engoren, Cynthia PhD, RN; Melkus, Gail D’Eramo EdD, C-NP; Dunbar-Jacob, Jacqueline PhD, RN; Rice, Virginia Hill PhD, RN; Millan, Angelica DNP, RN; Dunbar, Sandra B. PhD, RN; Braun, Lynne T. PhD, CNP; Wilbur, JoEllen PhD, APN; Chyun, Deborah A. PhD, RN; Gawlik, Kate DNP, RN; Lewis, Lisa M. PhD, RN
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: Post Acceptance: October 23, 2017
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001198
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective:

To describe: (1) nurses’ physical and mental health; (2) the relationship between health and medical errors; and (3) the association between nurses’ perceptions of wellness support and their health.

Methods:

A cross sectional descriptive survey was conducted with 1,790 nurses across the U.S.

Results:

Over half of the nurses reported sub-optimal physical and mental health. Approximately half of the nurses reported having medical errors in the past 5 years. Compared to nurses with better health, those with worse health were associated with 26% to 71% higher likelihood of having medical errors. There also was a significant relationship between greater perceived worksite wellness and better health.

Conclusion:

Wellness must be a high priority for healthcare systems to optimize health in clinicians to enhance high quality care and decrease the odds of costly preventable medical errors.

Address correspondence to: Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, The Ohio State University College of Nursing, 1585 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (Melnyk.15@osu.edu).

Funding Sources: None

Conflicts of Interest: None Declared

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website (www.joem.org).

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine