American Nurses Association (ANA) announced that there is a reason behind declining quality of nursing care. Deteriorating working conditions in among the nurses is the culprit behind it and it happens over the last decade. As a special article to mark this year’s International Nurses Day, here we discussed how to manage tiredness or also known as workplace fatigue.
What are the Impact of tiredness or over-work to Nurses?
It is a true fact that amount of nurses in every country is not enough to serve the public health need. Most of the nurses nowadays are working in 8 to 12-hour shift but that is not the only thing that they do in a day. Nurses also get to further their study, attending meetings and courses and juggling with their own family matters. Some of us forget that nurses are also married people that also got to take care of their own baby, kids, and family, and they are dealing with two busiest places which are their own home and the hospital.
The nurses were all angels in my eyes. – Randy Castillo
Lack of manpower in the hospital forcing the nurses to work longer hours and they are developing stress and tiredness in their workplace. Do you know the signs of tiredness or fatigue among the nurses? They will frequently call in sick, demoralize at work, demonstrating a lack of empathy, less care, and quality when handling the patient, mood swings and most dangerously, they can’t focus on their job.
Tiredness among the nurses will affect their work performance and the patients or clients of the health facility are not going to get the proper treatment or care that they should have. Michelle Bragazzi from community editor of TheONC.org also stating that medical errors and mortality cases are rising because of the nurses can’t focus when they are so tired or fatigue. As an effort to protect the nurses from workplace fatigue and health awareness during International Nurses Day here are the impact of tiredness and how to manage it.
The impact of tiredness and workplace fatigue among nurses will cause:
- Patient receives less care from the nurses
- Medical errors are rising
- Nurses are likely to have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mental health
- Workplace accident case will rise
- Needle Stick Injury/ Sharp Injury cases will rise and contribute to HIV, Hep B, and other viral infections among nurses and other healthcare workers
How to manage or overcome tiredness?
To avoid such problems in any healthcare facility, the management and administration department of a clinic or hospital (government or private sector) should come with a working guideline to avoid workplace fatigue and tiredness among the nurses. Here are the important steps to protect the nurses from getting over-work:
- Set the limit shifts or the nurses aren’t allowed to work more than 10 hours a day. They have 8 compulsory hours to work and if they applying for overtime job do not exceed than 2 hours per day.
- Pregnant nurses should not push themselves to work and they should rest between the jobs. They should rest and sleep rooms for staffs should be provided. This accommodation will help them to recharge and stay focus to the next job.
- Transportation should be provided because there are nurses that too tired to drive after a long day at work.
- Limit the meetings, courses, and assignment for the nurses to avoid overworked.
- The nurses that experience or suspect that they experience workplace fatigue should talk about it and get help. You can tell it to your supervisor or your friends that you need help to avoid fatigue and affecting your quality of work.
- If the nurse applies for vacation or day off, it should be approved because it is an effective way for the nurse to recharge and eliminate their stress. They will come back to work happier and ready to work with a new, positive attitude.
- By creating Staff’s restroom or the Stress-Free room for nurses and staff is a good effort to introduce a safe and healthy workplace because it is important for the nurses to get necessary rest before they continue with the next job. It is important to provide a place where they can have a rest, hot tea, massage chair, soft music and a room that using anti-stress aromatic to eliminate their stress and tiredness.
- The employer should monitor their nurses working performance and if declining occurs, it might be a sign of tiredness or workplace fatigue. The immediate action should take place to avoid the nurse from getting NSI/SIS injury or affecting her performance at work.
The conclusion is, tiredness among nurses is a serious matter that affects the job satisfaction and the physical health of the nurse. By taking a good preventive method, nurses are working accordingly and effectively. To maintain the quality of health service or health facilities, the nurses working condition should be improved. Happy Nurses Day to all nurses and we are so grateful and appreciate your service in public health.