Tired nurses driving dangerously due to lack of proper breaks

A survey by Nursing Notes has found that the majority of staff admitted they often felt unsafe driving home and are putting their lives in danger, due to being tired and overworked.

The survey of 2,660 healthcare workers was prompted by the recent death of two nurses. It examined how safe staff felt driving home from their place of work after a night shift.

The majority of staff (73%) said they felt unsafe driving home. Over half (58%) said this was because they did not have the time to take their unpaid allocated rest break. When staff do take breaks, most staff (77%) said their employer did not allow them to sleep during this unpaid period. One respondent said; “When I drive home from a night shift I feel like I am drunk. It sounds odd but I feel dazed and out of it and have slower reactions.”

Almost all the staff asked (96%) admitted to feeling stressed or tired during the drive home and nearly all of all those surveyed said they were often forced to leave late because they still had patient care to provide – only further compounding tiredness.

Numerous respondents cited chronic understaffing and high patient acuity as the reason for leaving late.

Full story in Nursing Notes, 10 October 2019