The WFC Group Blog

One Key Management Change to Help Fight Nurse Fatigue

Posted by Neil Shah on Jul 18, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Nurse Fatigue_Credit.gpointstudio.jpg                                           Credit: istock/gpointstudio

When it comes to job satisfaction, nursing maintains an impressive rate of professionals pleased with their career choice (93% according to the recent Employee Engagement in Nursing survey conducted by Kronos Incorporated). It's easy to understand why healthcare instills a sense of value and purpose in one's work — helping people stay healthy is rewarding. Unfortunately, the profession also comes with a quiet occupational hazard that threatens performance and well-being, and it will continue to put hospitals and our healthcare providers at risk if unaddressed.

When Nurses Burn Out, Hospitals and Patients Lose

According to the survey, around 85% of hospital-based nurses experience physical and mental fatigue from their work, and 43% feel the need to hide their fatigue from their managers. Long shifts, shifts too close for adequate sleep, lack of meals and breaks are all common experiences. As a result, they are concerned about the quality of care they are able to provide, putting both patients and themselves at risk of harm. Well over half of nurses surveyed (especially those on night shift) have driven home while drowsy from overwork or exhaustion. When it becomes too much, many have felt the need to call in sick just to rest, putting hospitals in an unfortunate, preventable pinch.

Schedule Control is the Preferred Solution

A majority of registered nurses identified scheduling as a primary contributor to fatigue. Of those surveyed, 55% agreed more control in their schedule could fight fatigue and satisfy better work/life balance. They sense this lack of balance is a large reason why hospitals are losing good nurses to other employers. Workforce management solutions like Kronos can help establish scheduling practices that protect nurses' well-being while giving them more agency to adjust schedules as necessary with shift swaps and automated alerts to managers.

If assessing your current scheduling capabilities and opportunities for improvement is important to the health of your healthcare organization, our experts are happy to help. We have extensive experience working with healthcare providers and caregivers, implementing helpful workforce management solutions across multiple facilities to improve overall employee engagement. Empowering healthcare providers to deliver the best possible level of care is of great importance to us, and it starts with making sure our nursing workforce remains strong and satisfied.

Topics: Healthcare, Workforce Management