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Authors

  1. Blouin, Ann Scott PhD, RN, FACHE
  2. Smith-Miller, Cheryl A. PhD, RN-BC
  3. Harden, Jacqueline MHA, MBA, RN, NE-BC
  4. Li, Yin BM, RN

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This article describes the profound impact of fatigue and the process by which 1 academic medical center assessed fatigue levels, and associated factors, among nursing personnel in their effort to develop a comprehensive fatigue management program.

 

BACKGROUND: To adequately perform amid high patient acuity and in today's fast paced healthcare environment, nurses must be attentive and react quickly and appropriately with clear judgment and reasoning-abilities that can be greatly impaired by fatigue. Nursing leaders are instrumental in systematically addressing work-related fatigue and implementing processes designed to prevent fatigue and overwork; however, baseline measures are necessary if the efficacy of these initiatives is to be assessed.

 

METHODS: The 15-item Occupational Fatigue Exhaustion/Recovery scale was used to assess current fatigue levels among nursing staff at a university medical center. Demographic and schedule-related questions were used to examine the characteristics of the population and identify any associated factors.

 

RESULTS: Work-related fatigue is prevalent among all nursing staff, but differences were noted based on the respondent's position, age, and typical work shift.

 

CONCLUSIONS: Nursing administrators and shared governance councils can address the factors contributing to work-related fatigue and negatively impacting nursing personnel's ability to rest and recuperate. Nurse leader involvement is needed to develop comprehensive fatigue reduction strategies.