Effects Of Fatigue On Domestic Air Carriers Essay

Effects Of Fatigue On Domestic Air Carriers Essay

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Fatigue as defined in the Medical Dictionary is a "physical and/or mental exhaustion that can be triggered by stress, medication, overwork, or mental and physical illness or disease. Fatigue and sleepiness are often used interchangeable, however they are distinct experiences. Sleepiness refers to a disposition to fall asleep, while fatigue describes an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion, tiredness associated with a weakened physical and/or cognitive ability. Sleepiness and fatigue often coexist in many professions. The nursing profession is no exception. We are aware of media coverage of past catastrophic accidents. Fatigue has been noted as a major causative factor in some aviation and nuclear power industries accidents. The National Transportation
Safety Board (NTSB) has analyzed fatigue-related factors in accidents on domestic air carriers. Is the fatigued officer, pilot, fit for duty? New pilot fatigue rules went into effect January of 2014, limiting pilots to fly no more than eight or nine hours, depending on when their shift starts, and each week must have 30 consecutive hours of rest. No such rules exist governing nurses. There are only voluntary recommendations that nurses limit their work hours. Sleepiness and fatigue often coexist in the nursing profession. Even though fatigue can be associated with multiple causes this paper will focus on the impact of excessive workloads, rotating schedules and the number of hours per week nurses work contributes to nursing fatigue. The relationship of work schedules to nurse and patient safety will also be explored. Nurses, RNs, LPNs, CNAs and other health care workers who are fatigued could be placing both the patient and themselves at risk. This is substantiated ...


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...ployers and staff is necessary to reduce the risks of nurse fatigue and promote overall safety in the nursing profession impacting nurses and patients now and in the future.

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
Abraham Lincoln



Barker, L., & Nussbaum, M. (2011). Fatigue, performance and the work environment: a survey of registered nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(6), 1370-1382
Chen, J., Daraiseh, N., Davis, K., & Pan, W. (2014). Sources of work-related acute fatigue in United States hospital nurses. Nursing and Health Sciences, 16, 19-25
Martin, D. (2015). Nurse Fatigue and Shift Length: A Pilot Study. Nurs Econ., 33(2):81-87
Scott, L., Rogers, A., & Zhang, Y. (2006). Effects of critical care nurses’ work hours on vigilance and patients’ safety. American Journal of Critical Care, Volume 15, No. 1

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