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NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours

Objectives (Continued)

In this module managers and staff nurses can learn strategies for improving the organization of work:

  • Improving design of work schedules
  • Promoting breaks during the work shift
  • Conducting periodic assessments
  • Using policies and systems that reduce the risk for fatigue
  • Promoting a positive psychological work environment

The current climate for managing nursing resources in organizations is difficult. Patients are sicker when admitted, are discharged sooner, and receive treatment with more extensive technologies. At times it may seem necessary to deviate from the recommendations presented in this module. However, work hours are one of the major reasons that nurses give for leaving the profession.6 If you work toward improving work-hour issues, you may have better success in attracting and retaining nurses.

Keep in mind that shift work, long work hours, and worker fatigue are linked to patient care errors.7-11 Your efforts toward reducing fatigue in your nursing staff will enable them to provide better patient care.
Module: 5, Page 2 of 20