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Fatigue warning signs and symptoms

  • Forgetfulness
  • Poor decisions
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Reduced vigilance
  • Poor communication
  • Decline in working memory
  • Errors of omission
  • Fixation on small task
  • Repeating work
  • Apathy
  • Bad mood
  • Nodding off
  • Microsleeps (brief episodes of sleep lasting from fractions of a second to minutes, usually associated with fatigue: often head nodding and eyelid dropping

All these typical symptoms of fatigue lead to poor performance and can impact patient safety.

As a team member your should become familiar with the fatigue warning signs, look for declining performance in yourself and in other team members, then take action to improve performance and patient safety.

If we recognize fatigue warning signs in others, voice concern and cross-check critical items. If we recognize fatigue warning signs in ourselves, let others know, ask for help.

Use system hardwired tools to help you do the right thing, such as checklists, report guides and standardized communication protocols.

Sleep Center