Issue 1
Monday, 04 March 2019
Charles Darwin University
Professor Ann Rogers is a world leader in sleep research
Professor Ann Rogers is a world leader in sleep research

Seminar to address nurse fatigue, patient safety

By Andrew Hall

An internationally renowned expert in sleep deprivation will present a paper titled “Staff Nurse Fatigue and Patient Safety” at a public seminar hosted by the Charles Darwin University College of Nursing and Midwifery on March 12.

Professor Ann Rogers of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, USA has a distinguished research career that has focused on narcolepsy and adult populations who get insufficient sleep. Her work includes a ground-breaking study into the long hours frequently worked by nurses and the ramifications for patient safety. 

“All of us can hide the symptoms of sleep deprivation with coffee,” Professor Rogers said. “But caffeine doesn’t restore attention to detail, patience or physical coordination.”

Professor Rogers said she discouraged caffeine use during the latter part of night shifts, and encouraged the use of earplugs and dark curtains for nurses needing to sleep during daylight hours. She also advises nurses to wear dark sunglasses on their way home from work after sun-up.

“Even if you’re tired, it can be difficult to fall asleep after exposure to bright sunlight and street noise,” she said.

Studies have shown that the likelihood of a clinician making an error can increase by 36 per cent after working 12-hour shifts on consecutive days. 

“We know that workers only use half of their time off to sleep,” Professor Rogers said.

“If a nurse has 10 hours off, they will sleep for about five hours, which is not enough rest for anybody.”

The seminar is free and open to the public.

Date and time: Tuesday, 12 March, 10am to 12 noon

Venue: Building Blue 5, Casuarina campus

For more information contact E: