Students are entering the last half of the semester and are focused on the finish line. Preceptorships, practicums and capstone projects are the stepping stones to convocation, commencement and graduation celebrations. After four years of long nights, last-minute projects and juggling multiple classes, students may think life becomes simpler after graduation with just one “job” to focus on. Many times, the anticipated reality is not as easy as it sounds.
It is a nurse’s responsibility to come to work alert and ready to provide safe patient care. Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 4-10) is a great time to remember the impact a nurses’ fatigue can have on a patient’s safety. Fatigue can lead to lapses in attention, a lack of motivation, a decrease in problem-solving ability, confusion, irritability, impaired communication, diminished reaction time, indifference and loss of empathy. These factors can put both patients and staff at risk.