Sleep deprivation in health care workers can be dangerous, reports the Sioux City Journal.
After working a 24- or 48-hour shift, Davis said health care workers wear their tiredness and fatigue like a “badge of honor,” even though it contributes to medication errors that kill more than 100,000 Americans every year.
A 2006 National Academy of Sciences study found interns who worked just three hours more per shift committed 22 percent more critical errors, which result in increased morbidity and mortality, than their counterparts.
Davis said shift work and long hours combined with the desire to do more in less time is leaving nurses fatigued. Instead of going home and sleeping for seven or eight hours after their shift, she said they’re studying for classes, taking care of their kids and running errands. They’re also likely picking up more hours at work, as there’s a national shortage of nurses.