Study links long hours, nurse errors

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wdlove, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    Oct 20, 2002
    #1
    What they've long known about truck drivers, airplane pilots and doctors, researchers also are discovering about nurses: Those who work more than 12 straight hours make more mistakes.

    Nurses who worked shifts lasting at least 12.5 hours were three times more likely to commit an error, such as giving a patient the wrong medicine or the wrong dose, than nurses who worked less than 8.5 hours, about a regular shift, according to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

    Nurses reported that they committed errors on 103, or five percent, of the 2,057 longer shifts and made near errors on 97 of those longer shifts. Near errors are errors nurses intercepted before they reached patients, such as bringing the wrong medication to a patient's bedside but catching the mistake before injecting it. Meanwhile, nurses made errors on just 12, or 1.6 percent, of the 771 regular shifts, and near errors on only 20 of those shifts.

    Working unplanned overtime at the end of a shift also increased the likelihood of making a mistake, regardless of how long the shift.

    http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2004/07/07/study_links_long_hours_nurse_errors/
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #2
    Go figure. Amazing that they'd need a study to show this!

    On a similar note, I've always wondered why, exactly, residents are forced to put in such long hours. Is it just because the doctors before them did, and so on? It seems to me that sleep deprivation is not a good way to train life-savers. Undoubtedly they will be sleep deprived at points in their career, but why make such a practice of it during residency?
     
  3. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #3
    Also amazing that we needed a thread on this.

    Was there anyone here, anyone at all, that didn't know that people who work 12 hour shifts are going to make more mistakes than 8 hour shifts?

    Nurses or otherwise?

    mhmm...

    paul
     
  4. sonyrules macrumors regular

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    Ohio
    #4
    Nothing new here....

    Maybe hospitals should pay attention to the study, maybe there wouldnt be many mistakes.
     
  5. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #5
    Doctors and hospitals and doctors are aware of this problem. I went to a medical conference where it was discussed and ideas for correction. This study indicates that the problem is still on the front burner. I think that the best way to fix this is to work on it from the ground up.
     
  6. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

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    #6
    Isn't the reason of Nurses working ungodly hours go hand in hand with the massive nurse shortage?
     
  7. oreo macrumors member

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    Kent, UK
    #7
    Part of the problem is massive staff shortages, lack of money to have enough staff. Also you have to remember than nurses in general are employed in the UK to work, 37.5 hours a week, which if they work long shifts will only work for three days a week. Doctors hours are still in the region of 70+ a week, even with nursing staff taking on jr. dr's roles to help reduce their hours.
     
  8. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #8
    In the US most nurses work 40 hours per week, eight hours a day. Doctors have control of their own hours, the more they work the more they get paid. It doesn't work that way for nurses. Another big problem for nurses if too many patients.
     
  9. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #9
    Electronic error tracking on call at hospitals

    Amid growing concern over medical errors, a number of hospitals in Boston and other cities are installing "near miss" systems, hoping to catch dangerous patterns before they hurt patients.

    Most hospitals have surprisingly antiquated systems for tracking medical errors and near misses, which must be reported to the state if they involve serious injury or death to the patient. Typically, nurses report incidents by writing a lengthy description on a paper form. But the forms can be so time-consuming and the fear of reprisal so pervasive that few doctors participate. And because the reports are scattered on hundreds of pieces of paper, hospital executives sometimes can't see patterns, such as widespread fatigue or heavy workloads among staff.

    But a number of hospitals are bringing in new electronic systems that allow doctors and nurses to log onto any hospital computer, call up a form, and report a near miss or error by checking off various boxes. The computer immediately sends the report to hospital safety officials and department chiefs. Because the data is searchable, hospital supervisors can look for patterns.

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/07/10/electronic_error_tracking_on_call_at_hospitals/
     
  10. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #10
    -Hmm

    The "No SH##" Factor associated with this, ranks about a 10.0.
     
  11. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #11
  12. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #12
    Took the words right out of my mouth :rolleyes:

    Also in the news, George Bush said somehting stupid, Michael Shumacher won the GP, it's raining in England, and there are still no new iMacs :eek: :p :D
     
  13. wdlove thread starter macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #13
    All of this information goes to improving our health care. It needs to be improved from the ground up. Starts with the individual. The more we know the better There is nothing really important than your health. As you get older you will realize that fact. Unless you have your health nothing else really matters.
     

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