Are Fitbits the answer to nurse fatigue?

December 17, 2018 | By Jennifer Garrett

Linsey Steege. PhD
School of Nursing Professor Linsey Steege, center, talks with nurses Emily Jolliffe, at left, and
Christina Butzine, at right. Both are RNs in the transplant unit at UW Hospital. Photo by Alex André

Linsey Steege, a human factors engineer and UW–Madison nursing professor, says fatigue contributes to medical errors and staff attrition, both of which can have devastating consequences for patients while also driving up cost for health systems and consumers.

“I became interested in focusing on how to improve how we support nurses so that they in turn can be safe and provide the highest quality patient care,” she said. “[But] when I looked around, there was a lot of research on physical fatigue [and] sleep deprivation for medical residents, but much less on how nursing work is contributing to fatigue and how fatigue is contributing to stress, burnout, and worst of all, medical error.”

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