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18 Ways to Reduce Nurse Fatigue Right Now

By Team Altus | Published Jul 07, 2019
Fatigue increases room for errors and diminishes productivity, putting patients in danger. It also poses danger to the nurses' health. Nurses and their employers need to come together to reduce nurse fatigue.

Nurse Tips

  • Focus on rest on their days off. Take a slow walk, do a face mask, take a warm bath, do some stretching, sing or dance, journal, read or meditate!
  • Stay hydrated and don’t overdo the coffee or alcohol.
  • Maintain an active family and social life.
  • While at work, take lunch and breaks in a quiet area.
  • Look for signs of fatigue and be honest with yourself. Make an effort to recharge.

Nurse Employer Tips

  • Create schedules that are designed to reduce fatigue.
  • Use 12-hour shifts judiciously.
  • Limit the number of consecutive days a nurse can work.
  • Make sure there are adequate staffing levels.
  • Provide education on what fatigue is, the signs and what you can do to overcome.

Equip nurses with ergonomic workstations:

  • Strategically place accessories that hold equipment and tools on the cart.
  • Opt for a lightweight cart. Excessive lifting can lead to user fatigue and in some cases injury.
  • Adjust the height of monitors and the cart to the user's optimal ergonomic height level.
  • Equip carts with storage to hold medication and supplies to eliminate trips to the supply room and pharmacy.
  • Make sure your monitor can swivel so you can share information with patients and caregiver without strain.
  • Dual mounts – look at two things simultaneously. A larger screen reduces neck and shoulder pain. Added bonus - productivity increases!
  • Only utilize workstations with a durable tilting keyboard and mouse platform.
  • A soft wrist rest for ultimate ergonomic comfort.

Healthcare professionals are responsible for many people’s lives. But who is looking out for them?

In their daily routines, they care for a number of people and have a lasting impact on patients. Nursing can take a toll on the body and one way to mitigate long-term bodily damage is through an ergonomic work environment.

Ergonomics is a branch of science dedicated to a holistic working experience.

It is the study of people in their working environment and the ways that they react and respond to it. To practice ergonomics is to evaluate the human experience in relation to their workplace -- the ways in which that space interacts with the bodies in it. It is a multidisciplinary science that uses data and techniques from several fields including anthropometry, biomechanics, environmental physics, applied psychology, and social psychology. Ergonomics, or human factors, has the goal to eliminate discomfort and risk of injury due to workplace procedures, equipment, or constraints.

Ergonomics has the power to change the way that nurses conduct their work.

How can a concept have such an impact? Read further to discover the ways that enhanced ergonomic workstations have a profound impact on the efficiency, health, and overall well-being of nurses in the healthcare industry.

*Altus products are designed to meet guidelines established by the American National Standards Institute for computer use. ANSI/HFES 100-2007: Human Factors Engineering of Computer Workstations

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