Nursing Duty Hours’ Length and the Perceived Outcomes of Care

  •  Mu'taman Jarrar    
  •  Hamzah Abdul Rahman    
  •  Abdulaziz M. Sebiany    
  •  Mahdi S AbuMadini    
  •  Hj. Masnawaty S    
  •  Christopher Amalraj    


BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: Working long shifts are associated with fatigue, medical errors and poor outcomes of care. However, there is a lack of guide that can provide policy-makers the optimal duty length in the Malaysian hospitals. The study aims to investigate the impact of nursing duty hours’ length on the quality and safety of care delivered in the “Medical-Surgical Wards” in Malaysia.

METHOD: Cross-sectional study was carried out on 12 private hospitals. Data was collected, through questionnaires, from 652 nurses (61.8 % response rate). Stratified random sampling was used in the study. Regression analyses were conducted to explore the impact of the nursing duty hours’ length on the care quality and safety.

FINDINGS: The length of nurses’ duty hours is not significantly affecting care quality (F = 1.27 and P value = 0.28) and patient safety (F = 1.81 and P value = 0.13), at p<0.05 significance level.

CONCLUSION: Nurse working in hospitals with 10-hours night shift had perceived poor quality (B=-0.11, t=-1.64, p=0.10); and unsafe care (B=-0.17, t=-2.40, p=0.02). Policy makers in Malaysian hospitals can benefit from the study by restructuring duty hours’ length in their hospital.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.