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Fatigued Nurses More Likely To Experience Decision Regret

Fatigued Nurses More Likely To Experience Decision Regret

Registered nurses have a crucial role in healthcare, but it’s common for them to be fatigued and sleep-deprived while working. A new study is reporting that nurses who are tired, experience sleep loss, and daytime sleepiness are more likely to report decision regret regarding their clinical decisions, compared to well-rested nurses.

For nurses, decision regret is a negative emotion that happens when the outcome with a patient differs from the desired expected outcome. They feel as though they may have made a wrong decision in regard to patient care.

The study included more 600 full-time nurses who worked in critical care units. Each nurse completed a survey containing questions regarding personal and work-related data, sleep quality, sleep quantity, daytime sleepiness, clinical-decision efficacy and decision regret.

Most of the volunteers reported moderate levels of exhaustion, serious sleep deprivation and daytime sleepiness. All of those factors affect a nurse’s ability to be alert and safe regarding themselves and their patients. Also, it was found that the nurses were not able to recover from fatigue during their non-work periods. Most of the nurses who report decision regret were males who worked 12-hour shifts and had lower levels of satisfaction with their clinical performances.

The study authors are suggesting that systems be put in place to manage the effects of fatigue and ensure that resources are available to provide relief for nurses when they are exhausted and reflecting on their clinical decisions.

Sleep is important to keep us healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. When we experience sleep loss our coordination is poor, memories aren’t effectively being stored and our emotions are all over the place. Set yourself up for success by getting to be earlier tonight!

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