Archive for May 10th, 2014

Nurses’ work shifts

| 10/05/2014 | 36 Comments

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 Cayman Islands 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. Both errors and near errors are more likely to occur when hospital staff nurses work twelve or more hours at a stretch.

Several trends in hospital use and staffing patterns have converged to create potentially hazardous conditions for patient safety. High patient acuity levels, coupled with rapid admission and discharge cycles and a shortage of nurses, pose serious challenges for the delivery of safe and effective nursing care for hospitalized patients. While systematic national data on trends in the number of hours worked per day by nurses are lacking, anecdotal reports suggest that hospital staff nurses are working longer hours with few breaks and often little time for recovery between shifts.

Scheduled shifts may be eight, twelve, or even sixteen hours long and may not follow the traditional pattern of day, evening, and night shifts. Although twelve-hour shifts usually start at 7pm and end at 7am, some start at 3am and end at 3pm. Nurses working on specialized units such as surgery, dialysis, and intensive care are often required to be available to work extra hours (on call), in addition to working their regularly scheduled shifts. Twenty-four-hour shifts are becoming more common, particularly in emergency rooms and on units where nurses self-schedule.

The Cayman Legistative Assembly should restrict the number of hours a nurse may voluntarily work in twenty-four hours or in a seven-day period. The Health Ministry has considered bans on mandatory overtime for nurses and other health care professionals, the PPM government should pass bills prohibiting mandatory overtime for nurses, doctors, paramedics and EMTs. No measure, either proposed or enacted, addresses how long nurses, doctors and paramedics may work voluntarily. The Health Ministry recommends that voluntary overtime also be limited.

The well-documented hazards associated with sleep-deprived resident emergency physicians have influenced changes in house staff rotation policies. In contrast, although shift-working nurses have been the focus of numerous studies, it is not known if the long hours they work have an adverse effect on patient safety in hospitals. The purpose of this is to examine the work patterns of hospital staff nurses, doctors, paramedics and EMTs and to determine if there is a relationship between hours worked and the frequency of errors.

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Robbery in Camana Bay

| 10/05/2014 | 125 Comments

(CNS): A man was robbed of just $4 by a gang of robbers Friday night, one of whom was armed with a machete. Police have arrested two of the gang of four but the other men remain on the run. The robbery, which happened at about 11:03 pm on Friday 9 along Camana Way on the stretch between the small town centre and the West Bay Road, generated a full scale response from the police with the helicopter K9 Units all called to the scene. After the robbers took the man’s four dollars, they ran into the bushes towards Lawrence Boulevard. Police apprehended two of the suspects and arrested them on suspicion of robbery.

Police are now hunting for the other two suspects and anyone who has information in relation to this orany other crime is asked to contact 949 7777 or Crimestoppers on 800 TIPS to remain anonymous

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