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Burned-out Nurses Linked To More Infection

Mon, 07/30/2012 - 5:13am

Heavy patient loads and chronic burnout have long been among the top complaints of nurses at the nation’s hospital bedsides. But a new study shows that those problems affect not only the nurses themselves, but also the number of infections in the people they care for.

For every extra patient added to a nurse’s workload, there was roughly one additional hospital-acquired infection logged per 1,000 patients, according to researchers from the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

For each 10 percent jump in the proportion of nurses who logged high levels of burnout, there was roughly one additional catheter-associated urinary tract infection per 1,000 patients and almost extra two surgical site infections per 1,000 patients, according to a study published today in the American Journal of Infection Control.

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