A work systems analysis approach to understanding fatigue in hospital nurses

Occupational fatigue is an important challenge in improving health and safety in health care systems. A secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from a survey sample comprised 340 hospital nurses was conducted to explore the relationships between components of the nursing work system (person, tasks, tools and technology, environment, organisation) and nurse fatigue and recovery levels. All components of the work system were significantly associated with changes in fatigue and recovery. Results of a tree-based classification method indicated significant interactions between multiple work system components and fatigue and recovery. For example, the relationship between a task variable of ‘excessive work' and acute fatigue varied based on an organisation variable related to ‘time to communicate with managers/supervisors'. A work systems analysis contributes to increased understanding of fatigue, allowing for a more accurate representation of the complexity in health care systems to guide future research and practice to achieve increased nurse health and safety.

Source: Steege, Linsey M., Pasupathy, Kalyan S., & Drake, Diane A. (2017). Ergonomics
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2017.1280186

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