Recent research about fatigue in health care has motivated nurses and hospital administrators to look at ways to manage the problem. This column examines a few relatively recent studies and alerts about the problem of fatigue.1–5 

Ironically, Ben Franklin, founder of our nation’s first hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, identified fatigue as a common health complaint. However, fatigue is one of the most difficult terms to define, and it is a symptom of many different conditions. Fatigue is generally defined as a feeling of lack of energy. It is not the same as sleepiness, but the desire to sleep may accompany fatigue. The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s (ACOEM’s) Task Force on Fatigue Risk Management provided us with an extensive review of fatigue and how we can reduce its risk to provide a balanced, healthy work environment.2...

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