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How long hours would cause medication errors - Essay Example

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This paper presents a literature review on how long hours could cause medication errors by nurses. Although nurses compose the largest single group of health care professionals, only a few studies have addressed the effect of long shifts on their performance…
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How long hours would cause medication errors
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Download file to see previous pages  Ann Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor, along with her colleagues at University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, followed and analyzed the work habits of 393 hospital nurses over a period of four weeks. The researchers looked at data from 5317 shifts and found that more than 40 percent of the time, the nurses who were a part of this study worked shifts longer than 12.5 hours. One-third of the nurses put in overtime every day which accounts to an average of 55 minutes longer than scheduled during the four week study period. This overtime was not planned in advice. The longest shift lasted as long as 23 hours and 40 minutes. This study found that there were 199 medication errors and 213 near errors that occurred. Ann and her associates concluded that all nurses in the study had an increased probability of making at least one medication error whenever they worked past the scheduled 12-hour limit.According to a study conducted by Aiken and his associates trends in hospital use and staffing patterns have converged to create potentially hazardous conditions for patient safety. The study revealed the fact that high patient acuity levels, together with increase in admission and discharge cycles and less number of nurses pose serious challenges for the delivery of safe and effective nursing care for hospitalized patients. The increased number of patients also increases the pressure on existing nursing staff. They will have to work on an average twelve to even sixteen hours long.  Besides, it may not follow the traditional pattern of day, evening, and night shifts. These shifts may be randomly scheduled. It is seen that nurses working on specialized units such as surgery, dialysis, and intensive care are often required to be available to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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