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Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

Effects of extended work shifts and shift work on patient safety, productivity, and employee health

Auteur     Simone M Keller
Résumé     It is estimated 1.3 million health care errors occur each year and of those errors 48,000 to 98,000 result in the deaths of patients (Barger et al., 2006). Errors occur for a variety of reasons, including the effects of extended work hours and shift work. The need for around-the-clock staff coverage has resulted in creative ways to maintain quality patient care, keep health care errors or adverse events to a minimum, and still meet the needs of the organization. One way organizations have attempted to alleviate staff shortages is to create extended work shifts. Instead of the standard 8-hour shift, workers are now working 10, 12, 16, or more hours to provide continuous patient care. Although literature does support these staffing patterns, it cannot be denied that shifts beyond the traditional 8 hours increase staff fatigue, health care errors, and adverse events and outcomes and decrease alertness and productivity. This article includes a review of current literature on shift work, the definition of shift work, error rates and adverse outcomes related to shift work, health effects on shift workers, shift work effects on older workers, recommended optimal shift length, positive and negative effects of shift work on the shift worker, hazards associated with driving after extended shifts, and implications for occupational health nurses.
Publication     AAOHN Journal: Official Journal of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
Volume     57
Numéro     12
Pages     497-502; quiz 503-504
Date     Dec 2009

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