The ongoing coronavirus pandemic challenged every level of hospital management. The number of confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 is growing daily, overwhelming healthcare institutions with a shortage of staff, equipment, and medications. Hospital staff had to work long hours, resulting in sleep deprivation and various health problems (Kim-Godwin et al., 2021). Since the performance of healthcare personnel influences patient outcomes, hospital administration should assess and manage issues that cause reduced productivity (Wu et al., 2021). One of the main reasons for low job satisfaction and poor performance among hospital staff is fatigue and burn-out due to an increased workload and sleep disturbance (Kim-Godwin et al., 2021). The 2019 statistics showed that one-third of the U.S. medical personnel suffered from sleep problems (Sagherian et al., 2020). Since workload during the pandemic increased, the number of healthcare workers with insomnia also grew. For example, it was reported that 40% of Chinese nurses had problems with sleep because of longer shifts and disturbing schedules (Sagherian et al., 2020). This data is necessary to elucidate the issue of understaffing and overwhelmed healthcare workers during the pandemic.
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The first level question that should be asked is the prevalence of severe sleep disturbance among healthcare workers in the United States. The significance of this question is in health outcomes that are impacted by staff productivity. Sagherian et al. (2020) reported 40% subthreshold insomnia and 5% severe sleep disturbance among 420 nurses who participated in the survey. Another study identified that 21-point Sleep Quality Index among nurses was 9.85 (Kim-Godwin et al., 2021). Unfortunately, I could not find the collective data about the prevalence of sleep disturbance for all healthcare organizations in the United States. The second level question is related to the complications of insomnia among nurses and physicians who provided care to COVID-19 patients. The sequelae of chronic insomnia include metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, dysfunctional eating, and fatigue (Kim-Godwin et al., 2021). Indeed, lethargy and fatigue increase the frequency of medical errors; therefore, recruiting more nursing staff and optimizing schedules is vital for reducing insomnia and the associated adverse consequences among hospital workers. I want my peers to address external factors, other than hospital management, that resulted in poor patient outcomes during the pandemic.
Kim-Godwin, Y. S., Lee, M. H., Logan, J. G., & Liu, X. (2021). Factors influencing sleep quality among female staff nurses during the early COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(9), 1-10.
Sagherian, K., Steege, L. M., Cobb, S. J., & Cho, H. (2020). Insomnia, fatigue and psychosocial well-being during COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey of hospital nursing staff in the United States. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 1-14.
Wu, C.-H., Lin, H.-H., Lai, S.-Y., Tseng, K.-C., & Hsu, C.-H. (2021). A study of leisure constraints and job satisfaction of middle-aged and elderly health care workers in COVID-19 environment. Healthcare, 9(6), 11-18.