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At times of crisis, healthcare workers (e.g., nurses, advanced practice nurses, physicians, nursing assistants, etc.) continue to provide care, despite ever challenging work demands, including higher influx of critically ill patients, increased work stress, and a frequent need for overtime. These work demands can compound already challenging work schedules (i.e. 12-hour shifts, night shifts), making it more difficult to obtain regular shift breaks and enough time off between shifts for adequate recovery. All of these work factors (i.e. physical, emotional, and/or mental demands) combined with insufficient sleep, contribute to fatigue.
Fatigue management is a shared responsibility that requires planning and ensures organizations the sustainability of healthcare services during times of public health crises, as well as protects the health and safety of workers and their patients.