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ANA Releases New Position Statement on Nurse Fatigue - Articles - Nursesarena Forum

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ANA Releases New Position Statement on Nurse Fatigue by Idowu Olabode : November 21, 2014, 06:14:32 PM
Nurses and employers are jointly responsible for reducing risks related to nurse fatigue, according to a newposition statementfrom the American Nurses Association (ANA).

 "Research shows that prolonged work hours can hinder a nurse's performance and have negative impacts on patients' safety and outcomes," ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, said in anews release. "We're concerned not only with greater likelihood for errors, diminished problem solving, slowerreaction time and other performance deficits related to fatigue, but also with dangers posed to nurses' own health."

 Shift work and long working hours have been linked to sleep disturbances, injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, gastrointestinal problems, mood disorders, obesity, diabetes mellitus,metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, cancer, andadverse reproductive outcomes, according to the ANA.

 The new position statement replaces two 2006 position statements that addressed nurse and employer responsibilities separately. This statement emphasizes that employers and RNs should work together to reducerisks related to nurse fatigue.

 Evidence-Based Recommendations

The ANA recommends the following evidence-based steps for enhancing performance and safety and patient outcomes:

*.Employers should include nurse input when designing work schedules and implement a"regular and predictable schedule"that allows nurses to plan for work and personal obligations.

*.Nurses should work no more than 40 hours in a 7-day period and limit work shifts to 12 hours in a 24-hour period, including on-call hours worked.

*.Employers should stop using mandatory overtime as a "staffing solution."

*.Employers should encourage"frequent, uninterrupted rest breaks during work shifts."

*.Employers should adopt official policy that gives RNs the "right to accept or reject a work assignment" to prevent risks from fatigue. The policy should be clear that rejecting an assignment under these conditions is not patient abandonment and that RNs will not be retaliated against or face negative consequences for rejecting such an assignment.

*.Employers should encourage nurses to be proactive about managing their health and rest, including getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day; manage stress effectively; develop healthy nutrition and exercise habits; and use naps according to employer policy.

The position statement was developed by a panel of 15 ANA member nurses with expertise in nurse fatigue, with input from an advisory committee of approximately 350 ANA members. The ANA distributed the statement widely to nursing organizations, federal agencies, employers, RNs, and risk assessment experts and evaluated their suggestions for inclusion in the statement.

Source: Medscape Journal

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