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Nurse Burnout Contributes to Increase in Patient Infection

Nurse burnout has been a long running concern for nurses’ well being.  Recent studies show that burnout not only effects nurses, but also the number of infections in the patients they are caring for.

The American Journal of Infection Control recently conducted a study recording the relationship between nurse burnout and patient infection. Here are the study’s results:

  • For every 10 % increase in the patient to nurse ratio, there is roughly one catheter associated urinary tract infection per 1,000 patients and almost 2 extra surgical site infections per 1,000 patients.
  • Nurses usually care for an average of 5.7 patients per nurse, when one extra patient was added the result was an additional 1,352 infections with the hospital population studied.
  • Reducing reports of burnout by 30 percent cut urinary tract infections by more than 4,000 and surgical site infections by more than 2,200, saving between $28 million and $69 million per year in estimated costs to treat those infections.

Nurse burnout not only affects the well being of the nursing staff, but the health of the patient. The study concludes that reducing nurse burnout reduces infections and saves money.

 

NBC News