Thursday, December 11, 2014



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


This service is supported, in part, by donations. Please consider making a donation by following the instructions at



White Paper



by Anneke Heitmann, Ph.D. and Andrew Moore-Ede


[full-text, 16 pages]



Sleep deprivation and fatigue are an ever-present challenge for health care workers. Thus far,

most of the attention has been paid to sleep-deprived resident physicians and their increased risks

of diagnostic errors, needlestick injuries and complications in post-surgical patients, which culminated

in the 2011 decision by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to limit resident

duty hours. However, fatigue represents a similar high-risk occupational health and safety

exposure for nurses.


Many factors are converging today to increase fatigue risks and costs in the nursing profession, and

the need to address nurse fatigue has never been more urgent. The increasing cognitive skill demands

of medical technology, the rapidly expanding patient loads resulting from the enactment of national

health care, and the need to retain experienced nurses in the workforce make addressing fatigue, and

sustaining nurse alertness and job performance around-the–clock, a vitally important issue.


Recognizing the dangers of nurse fatigue, an increasing number of US states have introduced legislation

to control mandatory overtime for nurses. But these laws alone do not solve the problem of

fatigue. Fatigue needs to be managed both at the organizational and at the individual level.

Recently, a number of nursing policy papers and position statements have urged nurse employers to

adopt sound comprehensive fatigue risk management practices. And while many nurse managers

and hospital administrators recognize the inherent value of implementing such policies and

practices, they are faced with the practical questions of what to do and where to begin.


This white paper will provide nursing directors and nurse managers with a practical road map

on how to address fatigue risks in their nurses and other employees. We will outline how to conduct

a fatigue risk assessment, so managers can better understand how fatigue impacts their nursing

staff and identify the fatigue risks that need to be addressed.


And we will share well-established and scientifically-validated fatigue management practices that

are increasingly used across other shiftwork occupations in 24/7 industries.



This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.










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