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Strategies for Nurses to Prevent Sleep-Related Injuries and Errors

Caruso, Claire C. PhD RN1; Hitchcock, Edward M. PhD2

doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2010.tb00047.x

Rehabilitation nurses work shift schedules or long hours to provide essential patient services around the clock. These demanding hours can lead to sleep difficulties, declines in performance, and increased worker errors. This article gives an overview of selected declines in cognitive performance that are associated with inadequate sleep and several factors that increase risk for fatigue-related errors. Selected strategies for nurses and managers to reduce these risks are discussed, such as better sleep practices, improved work schedule design, naps, caffeine, exposure to light, and rest breaks. Both nurses and managers share responsibility for implementing strategies to reduce risks from inadequate sleep.

1Claire C. Caruso, PhD RN, is a research health scientist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Cincinnati, OH.

2Edward Hitchcock, PhD, is a deputy branch chief at NIOSH in Cincinnati, OH.

Research Health Scientist

Deputy Branch Chief

Address correspondence to her

© 2010 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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