Monday, July 30, 2007

E-Journal Club #9

Rogers, Ann E., Wei-Ting Hwang, Linda D. Scott, Linda H. Aiken, and David F. Dinges, “The Working Hours of Hospital Staff Nurses and Patient Safety”, Health Affairs Vol. 23/4, July/August 2004: pp202-212.

“The use of extended work shifts and overtime has escalated as hospitals cope with a shortage of registered nurses (RNs). Little is known, however, about the prevalence of these extended work periods and their effects on patient safety. Logbooks completed by 393 hospital staff nurses revealed that participants usually worked longer than scheduled and that approximately 40 percent of the 5,317 work shifts they logged exceeded twelve hours. The risks of making an error were significantly increased when work shifts were longer than twelve hours, when nurses worked overtime, or when they worked more than forty hours per week.”

This is the Research Council’s journal club article for August and very timely. I have been in nursing long enough to recall a time when we all changed to twelve hour shifts. I should say “back” to twelve hour shifts, because twelve hour shifts appeared early on in the history of nursing. I wonder why they changed to eight hour shifts?
In the past few years, I’ve also noticed a trend toward some of the staff working more extra shifts. Some of the staff actually works enough extra shifts to qualify as working a “second job”. I have been amazed at their stamina, because I work part time and find that exhausting. I also know these are the staff that management favors for their flexibility and are therefore building up bonus points when in fact management should be worried about the rate of errors this article alludes to.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME! Please join us at the next Nursing Research Journal Club on Wednesday, August 8, 12:00 pm-1:00 pm, Sr. Frances Dunn Building, Classroom I.


Tracy said...


I was wondering if you'd be interested in posting any articles from the website. There are lots of relevant articles for todays nurse. The great news is that using nursezone content on your site is no cost. We'd just like to have a link back to our site for those of your bloggers interested in finding a community of nurses, CE opportunities, travel nursing and other relevant nurse aids. A partial example of a nursing article is below:

Nurse Overcomes Cancer—Twice—to Provide Care to Others

By Nancy Deutsch, RN, contributor

Many people yearn to make nursing their career, but few have to battle the odds like Valerie Bush.

The Independence, Kentucky, woman, who was a medical technician for six years and a nurse’s aide “on and off forever,” waited until her children were raised to return to nursing school. When she finally entered the Gateway Community and Technical College, it was unbelievably stressful. Not only was the single mother dealing with her course work, but her father died, and her youngest daughter was dealing with medical problems, including bipolar disease.

Bush, now 42 years old, was “disgustingly healthy when I started” school in 2004, but quite overweight, and she started to lose a lot of the extra girth.

“I lost massive amounts of weight in just a few months,” she recalled. “I was a pretty big girl. I lost 100 pounds.”

At first, Bush chalked up the weight loss and constant belching to stress, but when she shed all the weight, she found a lump in her breast. “I decided to see a doctor over break.”

Bush was diagnosed with DCIS, and beneath that, metastatic breast cancer.

“I lost everything in a week,” Bush said. The diagnosis sent her daughter off the deep end, upset her boyfriend, and meant she had to stop the classes she had waited so long to take.

“As a nurse, you think you know what a cancer diagnosis entails,” she said. “But you don’t. It affects every single thing in your life.” … (more article to come)

© 2007. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Let me know what you think.

Tracy (

Judy Rousch, RN, BSN said...

Thank you for your comment and the excerpt from your online journal. Despite my articles from the American Journal of Nursing , I do try to stick to articles that are heavy on original nursing research.