Nurses: Stay on the Lookout for Fatigue!

Nurses Stay on the Lookout for Fatigue!On Monday, we gave you 4 Great New Year’s Resolutions for the Traveling Nurse. To recap, here are the 4 things we mentioned:

  1. This year, I will exercise more.
  2. This year, I will sleep better.
  3. This year, I will start eating healthy.
  4. This year, I will take advantage of my travel assignments.

New Year’s resolutions are meant to help improve your life. What all of our resolution recommendations have in common is that they all help to fight fatigue–even number four, since a little R&R never hurt anyone.

Fatigue can cause a lot of problems for anyone, but if you happen to be a nurse, it can be can be especially troublesome. Recently, Science Daily, an online new source for scientific research happening around globe, reported on research that found a link between fatigue and regret in decision making concerning patient care among nurses.

According to the study put out by the American Journal of Critical Care, nurses who experience sleep deprivation and fatigue were more likely to express concern and regret over the decisions they made regarding a patient’s treatment and care.

Linda D. Scott (RN, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN)–who is the associate dean for academic affairs and an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing–was the lead author of the study. Scott argues that registered nurses are an essential part of the health care team, but when they aren’t getting the rest they need, it can severely compromise their decision making and in turn, proper care for the patient. 

So, what’s the takeaway?

Simply put, nurses need to be sure that they are taking proper care of themselves. While lack of sleep is one of the major factors of fatigue, lack of exercise and a proper nutrition can also be big contributors as well.

As a nurse, you understand how important you are in ensuring the best quality care for your patients–but sometimes, that gets in the way of properly caring for yourself. While you may see your patients as your number one priority, forgetting to take care of yourself can cause more trouble than it’s worth.

Remember: when you’re working those long hard shifts, take a moment to yourself and make sure you are in good shape. You might just be helping your patients more than you think.

Fighting fatigue can be easy if you know where to start, and seeing as it’s a new year, what better time to start than now? Just take any, maybe even all of our resolutions, try your best to stick to them, and you’ll be well on your way to a better year!

photo credit: omnia_mutantur via photopin cc

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