Perception of the Effects of Critical Nurses’ Long Working Hours on Vigilance and Patients` Safety in Ramallah district

Author(s): Amal Ibrahim


Working for long hours favors increasing daytime sleepiness and decreasing the state
of nurse’s vigilance, offering a greater risk of injuries and work accidents that affect the quality of nurse’s
performance and patient safety (Seitz, 2016).

Nurses who work in this setting may experience decreased
ability to provide optimum care to patients. Thus, for enhancing and improving nurses’ performance and
patients` safety, there is a need to better understand fatigue and sleepiness and their association with each
other as well as performance and patient safety (Weinstein, 2016).

Objective: The study assesses the effects of long working hours of nurses in critical care units on vigilance
and patients` safety in Ramallah city. The study was conducted at two major hospitals Palestine Medical
Complex and Al-Istisharis Arab Hospital at the first quarter of 2018.


A cross-sectional design was used. 

A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. A total
of 233 critical care nurses were included in the study,
the response rate was 78.5%. The study assessed four
domains: level of vigilance during the long working hours,
Patient safety level during the long working hours, Patient
Safety Frequency of Events Reported and Duties affected
by vigilance and patients’ safety.
Results: Study findings shows that the nurses reported
a relatively high prevalence degree of long working
hours (42.61%).opportunities for advancement in the

Nursing educators must pursue ways to
encourage their graduate students to stay in the nursing profession, during the studies and the clinical practice
and should, therefore, help students recognize nursing career opportunities and support them in planning
their careers. On the other hand, age, gender, current position, and place of work show no significance in
relation to vigilance and patient safety. Finally, a significant difference between the level of nurses' vigilance
was found between the two hospitals, and nurses at Palestine Medical Complex were eventually more alert.