Control could offset fatigue problems

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The best way to combat universal fatigue among nurses might be to grant them more control over their schedules.

Almost all nurses, 98%, believe their job is physically and mentally demanding, according to a Kronos Incorporated survey of 257 registered nurses.

Although 93% said they love their work, the demands clearly take a toll. About 63% said their job has caused burnout. Many (83%) said that hospitals were losing nurses because other employers offered better work-life balance, and 90% had thought about leaving their job to find better work-life balance.

Fatigue is also linked to negative coping mechanisms. These include nurses driving home from work drowsy (56%), worrying their patients will suffer as a result of their fatigue (44%) and calling in sick to get rest (28%).

The solution may be as simple as allowing nurses control over their schedule. More than half surveyed said this is a top factor that would alleviate a significant amount of fatigue.

“This survey shows that it's time to care for the caregivers,” said Susan Reese, DNP, MBA, RN, CPHIMS, director, healthcare practice group, Kronos.