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Essays on Investigating Relationship between Sleep Deprivation, Drowsy Driving Episodes and Accidents among the Night Shift Hospital Nurses Coursework

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The paper "Investigating Relationship between Sleep Deprivation, Drowsy Driving Episodes and Accidents among the Night Shift Hospital Nurses " is a good example of nursing coursework.   Studies have revealed that hospital staff nurses working on night shifts are more likely to cause accidents due to drowsy driving after completing their night shift. Previous studies have focused on the medical errors caused by hospital staff nurses on night shifts with recommendations focusing on the need for napping during the night shift. The focus of this study is on the ability of hospital staff nurses to remain alert when driving home from night shifts and describing episodes of drowsy driving and accidents that occur due to sleep deprivation.

Two samples of random registered nurses will form the study sample. A total of 895 full time registered nurses will complete logbooks for 4 weeks providing data related to the number of hours they worked, the duration of sleep and episodes of drowsy driving. Descriptive statistics will be used to analyze the data collected from the two samples in order to deduce answers to the research questions. Description Studies have revealed that more than 100,000 accidents, 50,000 severe and minor injuries and more than 2000 deaths are reported every year due to the tendency of people sleeping while driving on roadways.

This is one of the major causes of injuries and deaths among the hospital staff nurses that work on night shifts. The increased number of accidents due to drowsy driving occurs due to the fatigue experienced by nurses due to long hours of work at night without enough time for short naps in between their work schedules. The fatigue-related accidents involve one vehicle driven by nurses from night duty.

These types of accidents occur when vehicles are at high speeds and they tend to be serious than many other road crashes. The driver is less likely to take immediate action to prevent the accident because he/she is usually alone behind the wheel. Hence, the probability of avoiding the crash is minimal since once the driver sleeps on the wheel the next experience is fatal injury or death. According to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2011, more than 40% of 200 105 million adult drivers admitted to having fallen asleep while driving on the highway which shows that drowsy driving is common across the board.

Additionally, the poll conducted by the Sleep in America organization in 2005 revealed that more than sixty-five percent of the participants had once fallen asleep while driving at more than 57mph or even higher on roadways. Shockingly, the poll revealed that more than 10 million adult drivers had been involved in fatigue or sleep-related motor vehicle crash in the United States.

A more recent study revealed that severe to moderate drowsiness accounted for 25% and 23% of near cash and actual crashes on roadways. The prevalence rate of fatigue-related crashes resulting from sleep deprivation is higher among full time employed individuals particularly those working for more than 50 hours per weeknight shifts. Individuals working on night shifts are more prone to fatigue-related accidents because their sleep cycle is disrupted during the night and the recurrence of sleep tends to be early in the morning when the mind relaxes from the many duties performed during the night shifts.

Several studies have surprisingly revealed that the rates of motor vehicle crashes among the medical residents are higher than expected. For example, statistics have revealed that during residency the likelihood of motor vehicle crashes is 8 times higher than before residency (19.5% vs 4.2%).

References

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3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington: US Department of Transportation, The impact of driver inattention on near-crash/crash risk, DOT HS 810 594, 2005.

4. National Sleep Foundation, Sleep in America poll. Online journal 2005, http://www.sleepfoundation.org/site/c.huIXKjM0IxF/b.2419039/k.14E4/2005_Sleep_in_America_Poll.htm

5. Gold, et al., Rotating shift work, sleep, and accidents related to sleepiness in hospital nurses. Am J Public Health, 2004, 82:1011–1014

6. Stutts, J, Vaughn, B., Why do people have drowsy driving crashes? Input from drivers who just did. Washington: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety; 1999.

7. Horne, J, and Reyner, L., Vehicle accidents related to sleep: a review, Occup Med. 2003; 56:289–294

8. Arendt J, Owens, J, Crouch, M, Stahl, J, and Carskadon, M., Neurobehavioral performance of residents after heavy night calls vs after alcohol ingestion. JAMA; 294:1025–1033, 2005.

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