Hospital Infections Linked to Burned Out Nurses

Cheryl Clark, August 2, 2012

Hospitals where higher numbers of nurses report burn out, as measured by the Maslach survey, also had higher rates of surgical site and urinary tract infections than hospitals with fewer burned out nurses, according to a report in the American Journal of Infection Control.

"When nurses feel high levels of burnout, they emotionally, psychologically,  or cognitively detach from their work and from their patients," and lapses in infection control occur, said lead author Jeannie P. Cimiotti, of the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing at Rutgers University.

The survey found that hospitals where nurses reported 30% lower levels of burnout had 6,329 fewer surgical site and catheter-associated urinary tract infections, which researchers estimated saved those hospitals $68 million a year.


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