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Study Shows Young Nurses' Risk of Workplace Injury Increased by Overtime and Night Shifts

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A 10-year longitudinal study conducted by the RN Work Project, which recently appeared online in the International Journal of Nursing Studies, has found that newly licensed registered nurses were more prone to injury during overtime and night shifts. Risk increased by 61 percent during both mandatory and voluntary overtime shifts and 44 percent during night shifts.

The study involved 1744 nurses and collected data via a 100-question survey sent to nurses in 34 states and the District of Columbia. The average age of the nurses was 31 years old. The study revealed that most of the new nurses, nearly 79 percent, worked 12-hour shifts, 61 percent worked overtime, and 44 percent regularly worked night shifts. Those who worked overtime were 32 percent more likely to sustain needle-stick injuries (which could potentially expose them to blood borne infectious disease), and night workers were 16 percent more likely to suffer strain or sprain injuries.

Additionally, researchers found that nurses who most commonly suffered work-related injuries were those under 30 years of age, who had a higher-than-average workload, or who exhibited a lower-than-average sense of autonomy.

More research will be required to look further into the consequences of their findings, including costs associated with treatment and worker productivity loss.

The study neglected to consider things like the level of safety training each nurse received and what kinds of safety equipment was available for use. For further insight into these statistics, later studies will also include information about levels of fatigue and the quantity and quality of sleep experienced by each nurse, and how these factors may contribute to the likelihood of workplace injury.

Injured at work? The Corpus Christi workers’ compensation lawyers at The Daspit Law Firm may be able to help. If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay. Call today for a risk-free complimentary consultation at (361) 238-6163.

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