The report was drawn from a 2006 survey of 7,027 registered nurses working in 161 hospitals in Pennsylvania.
Cimiotti says that the nurses were asked to fill out the survey designed by UC Berkeley psychology professor Christina Maslach, which asks how much they agreed with some 22 statements about "emotional exhaustion." They could answer on a scale from 0 to 6, in which the feeling never happens, or it happens every day.
For example, the statements included these: "I feel emotionally drained from my work," "I feel used up at the end of the work day," "I don't really care what happens to some patients," and "I feel I treat some patients as if they were impersonal objects."
Initially, Cimiotti explains, the researchers looked at nurse-patient ratio at each of the hospitals and found that hospitals with more nurses and lower patient-nurse ratios had fewer infections than hospitals with fewer nurses.