Nurses in ICUs get worse sleep, may make more errors

A group of U.S. researchers have concluded that nurses working in ICUs frequently get less regular sleep than their counterparts in other units, possibly leading to higher medical error rates.

Using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Questionnaire, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston assessed ICU and floor nurses for sleep quality, along with vigilance at the beginning and end of a 12-hour shift.

The study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, found that sleep-altered nurses in the ICU tended to make more errors at both the beginning and end of their shift.

Not surprisingly, researchers concluded that this pattern could lead to problems with patient safety.

To learn more about the study:
- read this UPI piece

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