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February 5, 2003

Nursing Burnout and Patient Safety

JAMA. 2003;289(5):549. doi:10.1001/jama.289.5.549-a

To the Editor: Dr Aiken and colleagues1 report on the worsening problems of burnout among hospital nurses and the resulting lack of safety to patients. Online and external degree nursing programs may improve recruitment, as would encouraging more young men to pursue nursing positions. A substantial and immediate salary increase may also help to bring some nurses back to the bedside. In the meantime, family members and/or significant others should plan to assist with bedside care to whatever level they can be successfully trained and are comfortable. The benefits of everyone helping could improve patient safety and may decrease some preventable deaths.

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