What is the effect of long work hours on rates of needlestick injury?

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This nationwide nurse survey showed that high rates of needlestick and sharps injuries persist in hospital nurses in Taiwan. The common problems of long work hours and chronic insomnia increase the risk of these injuries” Lo et al (2016).

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Needlestick and sharps injuries are prevalent work-related injuries among nurses. Safety devices prevent only one-quarter of related injuries. More studies of modifiable risk factors are needed.

OBJECTIVES: To examine whether long work hours and chronic insomnia are associated with needlestick and sharps injuries among hospital nurses in Taiwan.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey.

SETTINGS/PARTICIPANTS: This analysis included 19,386 full-time bedside nurses working in 104 hospitals across Taiwan.

METHODS: Participants filled out an anonymous questionnaire from July to September 2014. Chronic insomnia, needlestick injuries, and sharps injuries during the past year were each measured by a yes/no question. Multivariate logistic regression models were applied to examine the effects of long work hours and chronic insomnia on needlestick and sharps injuries, given with control for sex, marital status, educational level, age, years of practice, work unit, and hospital level in the model.

RESULTS: More than 70% of study nurses worked long hours during the previous week (>50h: 27.5%; 41-50h: 43.2%), and 15.5% of nurses reported chronic insomnia. The percentage of sharps injuries (38.8%) was higher than that for needlestick injuries (22.4%) during the previous year among nurses. After adjusting for potential confounders, logistic regression yielded significant results showing that those who worked 41 to 50h per week, >50h per week, and had chronic insomnia were 1.17 times (95% C.I.=1.04-1.32), 1.51 times (95% C.I.=1.32-1.72), and 1.45 times (95% C.I.=1.25-1.68) more likely to experience needlestick injuries, and 1.29 times (95% C.I.=1.17-1.42), 1.37 times (95% C.I.=1.23-1.53), and 1.56 times (95% C.I.=1.37-1.77) more likely to experience sharps injuries, respectively, than those who worked fewer hours and did not have insomnia.

CONCLUSIONS: This nationwide nurse survey showed that high rates of needlestick and sharps injuries persist in hospital nurses in Taiwan. The common problems of long work hours and chronic insomnia increase the risk of these injuries. We suggest that hospital managers follow regulations on work hours and optimize shift schedules for nurses to decrease related injuries.

Reference:

Lo, W.Y., Chiou, S.T., Huang, N. and Chien, L.Y. (2016) Long work hours and chronic insomnia are associated with needlestick and sharps injuries among hospital nurses in Taiwan: A national survey. International Journal of Nursing Studies. October 21st. [Epub ahead of print].

doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2016.10.007.

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