Health Care Workers Health care/social assistance Fatigue Worker health and wellness

Survey of nurses shows fatigue causing many to consider leaving current job

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Photo: FangXiaNuo/iStockphoto

Chelmsford, MA – America’s nurses are feeling the effects of fatigue, and 90 percent have considered leaving their current hospital for a position with better work-life balance, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by Kronos Inc., a provider of digital workplace solutions.

Researchers surveyed 257 registered nurses who worked in hospitals. Results showed that 98 percent of nurses found their work physically and mentally demanding. The nurses cited excessive workloads as the top source of fatigue, at 60 percent. The inability to take lunch or dinner breaks during shifts (42 percent), the inability to take any breaks during shifts (41 percent), and insufficient sleep between shifts (25 percent) followed.

Other findings:

  • 83 percent of respondents believe hospitals are losing skilled nurses because other employers provide a better work-life balance.
  • 83 percent have helped another nurse when that person was so tired that he or she needed a break.
  • 63 percent have experienced burnout from their jobs.
  • 56 percent of all nurses and 70 percent of night-shift nurses reported they have driven home from work drowsy.
  • 28 percent have called in sick to work to stay home and sleep.
  • 20 percent said their employers do not offer a fatigue management program.

“This survey shows that it’s time to care for the caregivers,” Susan Reese, a registered nurse and director of Kronos’ health care practice group, said in a May 8 press release. “It also confirms what we instinctively know – nurses are compassionate, hardworking professionals who love what they do. A workforce that is so inspired by their work is hard to find in other industries and hospitals and health systems need to invest in nurturing and supporting their nurses. A fatigued employee at risk of burnout is not an engaged employee.

“Combating fatigue can be achieved by giving nurses more control over their work schedules, ensuring they have regular breaks, along with offering adequate rest periods between shifts and access to health and wellness programs.”

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