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Authors

  1. Cochran, Karen R. PhD, RN, CNOR
  2. Letvak, Susan A. PhD, RN, FAAN
  3. McCoy, Thomas P. PhD, PStat
  4. Bacon, Cynthia PhD, RN, CNE
  5. Karper, William B. EdD

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to describe nurses' self-perceptions of fatigue and to examine nurses' acceptance of specific fatigue countermeasures.

 

BACKGROUND: The work of nurses places them at a high risk of fatigue. Evidence suggests 75% to 80% of nurses in the United States experience high levels of fatigue.

 

METHODS: This descriptive, cross-sectional correlational study surveyed 279 nurses.

 

RESULTS: Results suggest that almost half of nurses (46%) are not able to accurately self-assess fatigue. Nurses expressed acceptance of several workplace fatigue reduction strategies.

 

CONCLUSIONS: It may be unrealistic to expect nurses to self-assess fatigue levels and make decisions about their ability to safely provide patient care. Reliable methods for assessing fatigue in the workplace are needed. Several strategies exist that may be used to alleviate fatigue, and many were acceptable to nurses. Nurse leaders are well positioned to implement changes that impact the occurrence of nurse fatigue and thereby the quality of patient care.