Linking health care workarounds and burnout to patient and worker safety: final progress report.
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, K01-OH-008965, 2011 Dec; :1-18
The objective of this grant was to understand how nurse burnout is associated with occupational injuries (e.g., needlesticks) by increasing the likelihood that a nurse will bypass safety procedures (called safety workarounds). While much has been written about the increase in stress and burnout among nurses, there has been little to no research linking this problem with the parallel finding of increasing occupational injuries in nursing. As a K01 award, a portion of the grant was focused on career development activities of the PI, consistent with the objectives of the career development grant program. These activities included mentored training and coursework in occupational safety and health and health care work processes. Additionally, the PI has engaged in extensive observations in health care settings to better understand nursing work processes related to safety. In addition to the career development activities, the PI has collected data from 575 nurses in five hospitals over three data collection periods. The data include participants' burnout, use of safety workarounds, and occupational injuries. These data support the predicted model where nurse burnout is associated with a higher use of workarounds, which is subsequently associated with a greater incidence of occupational injuries. These findings suggest that steps taken to reduce burnout among nurses could reduce occupational injuries through a greater adherence to safety procedures.
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