Effects of hospital staffing and organizational climate on needlestick injuries to nurses

Am J Public Health. 2002 Jul;92(7):1115-9. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.7.1115.


Objectives: This study determined the effects of nurse staffing and nursing organization on the likelihood of needlestick injuries in hospital nurses.

Methods: We analyzed retrospective data from 732 and prospective data from 960 nurses on needlestick exposures and near misses over different 1-month periods in 1990 and 1991. Staffing levels and survey data about working climate and risk factors for needlestick injuries were collected on 40 units in 20 hospitals.

Results: Nurses from units with low staffing and poor organizational climates were generally twice as likely as nurses on well-staffed and better-organized units to report risk factors, needlestick injuries, and near misses.

Conclusions: Staffing and organizational climate influence hospital nurses' likelihood of sustaining needlestick injuries. Remedying problems with understaffing, inadequate administrative support, and poor morale could reduce needlestick injuries.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood-Borne Pathogens
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Needlestick Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Nursing Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / supply & distribution
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workforce