Fatigue is defined as a feeling and a state of mental or physical tiredness or exhaustion that is brought about through various means. Diseases and ailments are one of them. Other causes are stress and being overworked (www.medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Fatigue). According to various scholars, fatigue is a combination of both physiological and psychological factors. Nursing as a career, has been known to be one of the professions that are associated with fatigue. Both the physiological and the psychological kind (Hughes & Rodgers 2004, Winwood et. al., 2006). This is because nurses are required to work for long hours. Longer than the standardized working hours since they have responsibilities that are expected to be done by them and expectations burdened on their shoulders by the hospital, patients and their families (Shiau et. al., 1999).the actual figure of proportion of the day that nurses are supposed to work is two-thirds of the day. This is according to Muecke (Muecke 2005). This is despite the fact that they are supposed to deliver good and acceptable quality of healthcare and clinical care and at the same time observing compassionate feelings towards their patients. They sometimes go through the whole shifts without having short breaks and working under pressure. This results in fatigue.
It is also argued that those nurses who have nightshifts are more likely to be affected than those working during the day. They are affected by both continuous and fatigue accumulation. Compassion fatigue is common among nurses. It happens as a result of being involved with their patients emotionally. Most patients do not like to see a different face attending to them every now and then. They like to see the same face, hence, the same nurse. As days go by, the nurses get attached to them emotionally. This combined with the pressure of getting a patient back to their normal health brings about fatigue. Most of the affected nurses happen to be those who are always working with complex patients. Complex patients come with complex situations. They put performance pressure on the nurses and they end up getting fatigued.
This is a study that is aimed at showing that there is a direct link between the nurses work schedule, fatigue and the provision of quality care services. A fatigued nurse, as a result of poor scheduled work rota will not provide good care in the long run. The reverse is also true. A well-maintained nurse will provide better healthcare for his/her patients.
The study should be able to answer the questions below;
Do the nurses have knowledge on the dangers that are brought about by being overindulged both in work and emotionally that lead to fatigue?
What are the ways that we can rework on the schedules in order to improve quality care by the nurses to their patients by way of balancing the work schedules in order to make them less tiresome to the nurses?
In literature review, the state of fatigue was first studied and brought out by a scholar, Joinson (1992), where he carried out his survey on an array of nurses that worked in the emergency department. He came up various signs that showed that one is fatigued, compassionately. They included lack of happiness in ones day to day activities, being irritable, an increase of bodily diseases in number and frequency, acute fatigue and loss of interest in going to work. In 2006, Mcholm came up with a number of ways that nurses can acquire fatigue. He said that those nurses that are involved with the type of patients that usually undergo trauma as a side effect of rigorous medication and the last cancerous stages are always at a higher risk of contracting it. They generally go through this accumulatively. The work environment is the main course of the fatigue. If it is a stress filled environment, the more risk of getting fatigue is higher.
Another review was carried out by issuing a pre-test and a post-test design. Questions were issued to the participants that were aimed at them providing information that stated whether they felt differently before end after their shifts.
The literature reviews were closely compounded by empirical reviews. One such was conducted in three hospitals on those nurses that worked for nine-hour shifts. It was carried out in Netherlands. The shift was arrived on after considerations that the shifts that were extended slightly were always ignored. People mainly focused on the short shifts, eight hours and those that are longer than nine hours. The results showed neutrality. Both positive and negative aspects were balanced and came out strongly. However, the positive aspects were associated with very early dates that went as far as 1982. The negative ones started showing later on as the years went by. They arrived at the hypothesis that when compared with the normal eight-hour shifts, the nine hours one would lead to increased fatigue. Although the increase would be slight. It would also have minimal or no effect on the employees health.
There have been previous designs and samples that have been used before to come up with these conclusions. One of these was by observation. Questions issued to the nurses had them measure and put down the levels of fatigue and stress as they feel it before and after work. In addition, an instrument was used. It measured the up and down movements of the eyes. A hand grasping exercise was also used. The results found that those nurses that underwent longer hours had more stress levels than those that had normal standardized hours. Professionals analysed the questionnaires ad came up with the conclusions as they had been analysed and reported. Other designs included monitoring nurses overtime as they go did their daily work in line with hospital regulations. The work done overtime being put by the nurses was financially driven. Other reasons included having a large load of work that one wanted to clear up and working overtime in a bid to keep up with your colleagues in a bid to avoid letting them down. The people under observation did not admit that overtime work raised the fatigue and causing more errors. Evidence found indicated that the overtime work also led to physical problems.
In my study, I will take it upon myself to look into various works, theories and hypotheses that other scholars have done before, take it into consideration and use it to enrich my work.
In order to collect data, various research methods will be used. One of the research methods to be included in this exercise is the use of questionnaires that are issued to the nurses in order to find out what they feel, physically and mentally in relation to fatigue. They will be subjected to questions that require them to state their feelings towards their shifts and how they feel mentally and physically before and after their shifts. These questions would also be aimed at getting how they feel about themselves and trying to brainstorm about how they can alleviate this problem and the strategies to be used to cope with these problems.
Another method is through the issuance of face to face interviews to nurses in the hospital. This can help one to observe them keenly and also get feedback on a one on one basis from your study. You can get an immediate non rehearsed response from the nurses and also ask other clarity questions that you might want to follow up with as the responses come along. It is with this in mind that I include this method of research.
Random sampling of the nurses in the hospital will also be used. A nurse picked randomly, issued with a subjective form of questionnaire or face to face interview that will help get the data from different sources, in an unplanned manner.
Lastly, the use of focus groups will also be observed. The nurses who take part in the questionnaire will be asked to get involved in a focus group that will involve them talk about their general feelings and aim at them brainstorming on ways that will help them give better quality healthcare and clinical care to their patients and at the same time help them to live happily and avoid the problems that come along with being stressed or being fatigued while at work. This will go a long way in bettering their lives and that of their patients.
The approaches that will be used to get the data would include both quantitative and qualitative. The Qualitative aspect will be used inductively through induction. The quantitative aspect would be used subjectively. Then deductions will be reached at.
After the various methods of data collection are arrived at, data analysis would be carried using various methods. Thematic analysis is one of the methods that will be used. The results would then be used to make viable. Another way of analysing data would be the use of ANOVA as a means of analysis.
Some of the various problems that are associated with the research include costs that are going to be involved with the collection of necessary data. The costs are high and they can seem unattainable.
Another possible limitation that can come in the way is the small sample size that is associated with the small number of nurses that can be used as correspondents for the collection of data. Generally it can be agreed that a large sample size is key to making sound and clear judgements and conclusions.
Also, there is the problem of potential bias that comes along with the nurses not being too straight forward with their answer; those giving give information that is wrong or completely irrelevant information at all. There is also that group that does not wish to participate in the process that would have been very suitable for sound conclusions.
Lastly, there is the problem of shortage of material from which to read and draw some of the theories, hypotheses and problem solving that were done earlier by other scholars. However the library has been very important resource issuing me with materials such as journals.
It would also be useful if there was a way in which one would be able to collect information that would help in analysing the quality of healthcare that the nurses are giving out.
With the required analysed data, there are certain positive implications that can come as a result of their compilation. Data would have been used to make a direct link between the schedule of nurses, fatigue and the quality of care that comes as a result of the schedule being looked after well. This would result in the schedule being looked after well in order to minimize fatigue. The results that would be got here would also be used to implement the decisions that would have come as a result of the analyzed data. It would be checked and the people involved would see whether they need to increase their pastoral care centres that will provide the nurses with support to help alleviate stress that comes with tedious work schedules. It will also be used to come up with ways that can be used to come up with those schedules that will benefit the nurses, their bosses and employers as well as increase the quality they give to their patients.
They will also be used to cope up with stress and fatigue related issues that come with the job. Mentors, both formal and informal will be put in place if need be. In addition, providing an environment that will be good and acceptable for the family will be a measure that will be keen to put in place.
The findings can also be used to educate the nurses about the risks that come with the fatigue and being swallowed fully by stress. They will also learn about the things that bring fatigue, various stages and ways that it manifests itself in and how to cope with it.
In conclusion, there is a direct link between the schedule of workers...
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