Critical care attendants in poor physical and mental wellness report more medical errors
- Post By :
- Source: American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
- Date: 04 May,2021
A study led by The Ohio State University College of Nursing finds that critical care nurses in poor physical and mental health reported significantly more medical errors than nurses in better health.
The analysis, which was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, also found that”nurses who perceived their worksite was very supportive of the well-being were twice as likely to have better physical health.”
“Critical Care Nurses’ Physical and Mental Health, Worksite Wellness Support, and Medical Errors” is published in the American Journal of Critical Care.
“It is critically important that we know some of the root causes that lead to those errors and do everything we can to stop them,” said lead author Bernadette Melnyk.
It’s clear that critical care nurses, like so many other clinicians, cannot continue to pour from an empty cup. System problems that contribute to burnout and poor health need to be fixed. Nurses need support and investment in evidence-based programming and resources that enhance their well-being and equip them with resiliency so they can take optimal care of patients.”
Bernadette Melnyk, Lead Author
The writers quoted research on the incidence of stress, anxiety, depression and burnout symptoms among critical care physicians as a foundation for examining the possible correlation between well-being and medical mistakes. The study surveyed nearly 800 members of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
1.Of those surveyed, 61% reported suboptimal physical health, while 51% reported suboptimal mental health.
2.Approximately 40% screened positive for depressive symptoms, and over 50% screened positive for stress.
3.People who reported worse health and well-being had between a 31 percent to 62% greater likelihood of making medical errors.
4.Nurses who reported working in places that provided greater support for wellness were more than twice as likely to have better personal health and professional quality of life compared with those whose workplace provided little or no assistance.
The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center has many programs to promote clinician well-being, including its employee assistance program, which offers confidential mental health resources and services such as counseling, mindfulness training and its Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program that offers the Buckeye Paws pet therapy program to promote building coping and resilience skills.
The authors mention that levels of stress, anxiety and depression are probably even higher in the current environment than prior to the pandemic, once the study was conducted.
“The major implication of this study’s findings for hospital leaders and policymakers is that critical care physicians whose well-being is supported by their organizations are more likely to be fully engaged in patient care and make fewer medical mistakes, resulting in better patient outcomes and more lives saved,” the researchers wrote.
Melnyk, B.M., et al. (2021) Critical Care Nurses’ Physical and Mental Health, Worksite Wellness Support, and Medical Errors. American Journal of Critical Care. doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2021301.