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Managing fatigue and shift work in hospital-based nursing

Public consultation on a draft code of practice for managing fatigue and shift work in hospital-based nursing, will be open for three months from today.

Professor Philippa Gander, director of the Sleep/Wake
Research Centre.

The Safer Nursing 24/7 Project has released a draft national code of practice for managing fatigue and shift work in hospital-based nursing for a three-month period of public consultation.

The project, led by Professor Philippa Gander, aims to improve health service delivery by improving both patient safety and the safety, health, quality of life and retention of nurses.

Funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the Safer Nursing 24/7 project includes researchers from Massey University and the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation, and an advisory group with broad representation from across the sector.

The draft code of practice has been informed by a focused 2016-2017 national survey of nurses’ work patterns, and includes guidance on scientific principles for fatigue management and roster design, how to use the fatigue risk assessment tools, educational materials, and guidance on organisational and personal fatigue risk mitigation strategies.

Professor Gander, director of Massey’s Sleep/Wake Research Centre, says sector knowledge and experience is a vital component of this new approach, which also draws on the latest fatigue science and international best practice.

“The aim of the consultation process is to ensure that the final code is understandable, effective and practical for implementation in New Zealand public hospitals. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to better patient safety as well as the safety, health, well-being and retention of nurses,” she says.

Click here to view the draft Code of Practice.

Click here to watch a short video about the Safer Nursing 24/7 project.

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