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Abstract

The student researcher conducted a research study to determine if there was a significant difference in the neurocognitive abilities of bedside nurses at the beginning of a 12-hour shift versus the end of the same shift. The student researcher hypothesized there was a significant difference in the neurocognitive abilities of bedside nurses at the beginning of one’s shift as compared to the end of the same shift. Conversely, the null hypothesis stated there was no significant difference in the neurocognitive abilities of bedside nurses at the beginning of one’s shift as compared to the end of the same shift. An iPad version of the Stroop test (Appendix C) and a printed copy of the OFER scale (Appendix B) were used to assess neurocognitive abilities and associated fatigue among the accessible population. Of the 25 participants from the small rural hospital in the southeastern United States, 22 participants completed the study. The statistical data analysis revealed there was a significant difference in the neurocognitive abilities of bedside nurses at the beginning and end of a 12-hour shift based on their response times to the Stroop test. Therefore, the student researcher rejected the null hypothesis. Predominantly, the participants in this study also reported acute fatigue in relation to 12-hour shifts. The nursing implication in this study was to assess potential patient safety concerns related to nurse cognition at the end of a 12-hour shift. Further research regarding the benefits and risks of 12-hour shifts to both patients and caregivers is recommended.

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