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Highly trained workers generally work faster, but they are more likely to make mistakes after they are interrupted, a new study finds.

“Suppose a nurse is interrupted while preparing to give a dose of medication and then must remember whether he or she administered the dose,” said Erik Altmann, Ph.D., psychology professor and lead investigator on the project at Michigan State University. “The more experienced nurse will remember less accurately than a less-practiced nurse, other things being equal, if the more experienced nurse performs the steps involved in administering medication more quickly.”

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