Bold Voices - August 2013 - (Page 8)

AT THE BEDSIDE Patient Safety Threatened by Insufficient Nurse Staffing, Fatigue Nurses report making or nearly making mistakes at work due to fatigue. N urse understaffing and fatigue threaten patient safety, note two studies reported by FierceHealthcare. “Survey: Nurse Understaffing, Fatigue Threatens Patient Safety” states many nurses report making or nearly making a mistake at work due to fatigue. In fact, “96 percent reported feeling tired at the beginning of their shift, and 92 percent while driving home after work.” According to “Nurse Staffing Strategy,” a survey conducted by HealthLeaders Media, commissioned by Kronos Inc., and presented at the American Organization of Nurse Executives’ 8 annual conference, fatigue is often blamed on understaffing, which results in too many patients per nurse. “Sixteen states have rules regarding staff-to-patient ratios, but California is the only state setting minimum hospital staffing levels, according to the report.” Other issues according to the survey include nurses working extra overtime shifts and the inability to take rest periods. Errors are not the only issue related to fatigue among nurses, however. According to “Study: NICU Understaffing Leads to Higher Infection Rates,” in FierceHealthcare, NICUs with fewer nurses reported higher rates of nosocomial infections. The retrospective cohort study, originally published in JAMA Pediatrics, analyzed data from 2008 and 2009. “Hospitals understaffed 31 percent of their NICU infants and 68 percent of high-acuity infants relative to guidelines. To meet minimum staffing guidelines on average would require an additional 0.11 of a nurse per infant overall and 0.34 of a nurse per high-acuity infant,” notes the study in JAMA Pediatrics. “The study concludes that low staffing is associated with higher rates of nosocomial infections, and that hospital administrators and NICU managers need to assess staffing decisions,” adds the article in FierceHealthcare. However, the article notes the study was limited, because not all NICUs are staffed at the same level, and the study did not consider other staff members in the unit.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bold Voices - August 2013

Bold Voices - August 2013
Another Angle
Seamless Staff Leadership Transition Is Goal of AACN's CEO Search
A Pool of Exceptional Talent
Progressive Care Nurses: A Conference, Las Vegas and CNEs Just for You
Communication Is Critical to Avoid Readmissions
Hospital Deaths Decrease Slightly Over 10 Years
Leapfrog Rates Hospital Safety Performance
Patient Safety Threatened by Insufficient Nurse Staffing, Fatigue
Number of Americans With Dementia, Cost of Care to Double by 2040
Updated HHS Standards Support Improved Cultural and Linguistic Competency
Decrease Noise Levels to Improve Patient Outcomes
Alarm Management (AACN Practice Alert)
Survey Reports High Levels of Burnout, Job Seeking
New HIPAA Rule Seeks to Balance Patients' Privacy Protection
Pet Ownership May Be Heart-Friendly
Hospitals Better at Preventing CLABSIs
Online Program Helps Military Service Members, Veterans Become Nurses
Clot Busters Safe for Patients With Stroke Who Take Aspirin
Updated Stroke Definition Reflects New Knowledge, Advances
In Our Journals
Antibiotics May Relieve Back Pain in Certain Cases
Certification Capsules
AACN Members, Friends Inducted as AANP Fellows
Empowered ED Case Managers
New CCN Resource Expands Reader Access to Nursing Care Studies
Contribute to the Evidence: Apply for an AACN Research Grant by Nov. 1
Nurse Leaders, Aspiring Nurse Leaders: Get Ready for Las Vegas, Sept. 18-20
AACN Scholarships Support Your Learning Journey
What Is Your Wake? (From the President)

Bold Voices - August 2013