Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Job Content of Intensive Care Nursing

Applied ErgonomicsVolume 40, Issue 3, May 2009, Pages 509-518
Exploring performance obstacles of intensive care nurses
Ayse P. Gursesa, , and Pascale Carayonb, 1,
aJohns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Quality & Safety Research Group, 1909 Thames Street - 1st Floor, Baltimore, MD, 21231, United States
bDepartment of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1550 Engineering Drive, 3126 Engineering Centers Building, Madison, WI, 53706, United States

High nursing workload, poor patient safety, and poor nursing quality of working life (QWL) are major issues in intensive care units (ICUs). Characteristics of the ICU and performance obstacles may contribute to these issues. The goal of this study was to comprehensively identify the performance obstacles perceived by ICU nurses. We used a qualitative research design and conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 ICU nurses of a medical-surgical ICU. Based on this qualitative study and a previously reported quantitative study, we identified seven main types of performance obstacles experienced by ICU nurses. Obstacles related to the physical environment (e.g., noise, amount of space), family relations (e.g., distractions caused by family, lack of time to spend with family), and equipment (e.g., unavailability, misplacement) were the most frequently experienced performance obstacles. The qualitative interview data provided rich information regarding the factors contributing to the performance obstacles. Overall, ICU nurses experience a variety of performance obstacles in their work on a daily basis. Future research is needed to understand the impact of performance obstacles on nursing workload, nursing QWL, and quality and safety of care.
BrooklynDodger(s) comment: The Dodger(s) wonder(s) if this is a part of a doctoral project, the whole project, a masters project, or what. Descriptive information is always helpful in shaping further research. In this case, comparison with other nursing environment would lead to some conclusions about impact of work environment in ICU. The Dodger(s) has(have) often opined that if you wanted to design work organization to create medical errors, you'd get pretty much what now exists in the health care system. The Dodger(s) is(are) glad to see an ergonomics journal address health care.

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