fatigue, healthcare professionals, sleep



  1. Owens, Judith A. MD, MPH


Sleep loss and impairments related to resultant fatigue are common among professionals working in healthcare settings. Long continuous duty hours, reduced opportunities for sleep with minimal recuperation time, and shift work all contribute significantly to impairments in physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning. Detrimental effects include those on personal health and well-being, patient health and safety, performance of job-related tasks, and professionalism. Many challenges exist to implementing effective personal and systemwide strategies to manage the impact of sleep loss. Therefore, adopting fatigue management strategies that have been successful in other occupational settings and developing specific interventions that are appropriate for the hospital setting are key. The following review outlines the causes and consequences of sleep loss and fatigue in healthcare professionals, and provides an empirically based framework for developing strategies to recognize, address, and manage sleep loss and fatigue.