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The Impact of Heavy Perceived Nurse Workloads on Patient and Nurse Outcomes

School of Nursing, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5, CanadaVancouver, BC V6T 2B5, Canada
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Academic Editor: Joan Wagner
Adm. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci7010007
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 5 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Work Environments)
This study investigated the relationships between seven workload factors and patient and nurse outcomes. (1) Background: Health systems researchers are beginning to address nurses’ workload demands at different unit, job and task levels; and the types of administrative interventions needed for specific workload demands. (2) Methods: This was a cross-sectional correlational study of 472 acute care nurses from British Columbia, Canada. The workload factors included nurse reports of unit-level RN staffing levels and patient acuity and patient dependency; job-level nurse perceptions of heavy workloads, nursing tasks left undone and compromised standards; and task-level interruptions to work flow. Patient outcomes were nurse-reported frequencies of medication errors, patient falls and urinary tract infections; and nurse outcomes were emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction. (3) Results: Job-level perceptions of heavy workloads and task-level interruptions had significant direct effects on patient and nurse outcomes. Tasks left undone mediated the relationships between heavy workloads and nurse and patient outcomes; and between interruptions and nurse and patient outcomes. Compromised professional nursing standards mediated the relationships between heavy workloads and nurse outcomes; and between interruptions and nurse outcomes. (4) Conclusion: Administrators should work collaboratively with nurses to identify work environment strategies that ameliorate workload demands at different levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: nursing workload; patient adverse events; nurse outcomes; nursing tasks left undone; interruptions; nurse staffing; compromised professional nursing standards nursing workload; patient adverse events; nurse outcomes; nursing tasks left undone; interruptions; nurse staffing; compromised professional nursing standards
MDPI and ACS Style

MacPhee, M.; Dahinten, V.S.; Havaei, F. The Impact of Heavy Perceived Nurse Workloads on Patient and Nurse Outcomes. Adm. Sci. 2017, 7, 7.

AMA Style

MacPhee M, Dahinten VS, Havaei F. The Impact of Heavy Perceived Nurse Workloads on Patient and Nurse Outcomes. Administrative Sciences. 2017; 7(1):7.

Chicago/Turabian Style

MacPhee, Maura; Dahinten, V. S.; Havaei, Farinaz. 2017. "The Impact of Heavy Perceived Nurse Workloads on Patient and Nurse Outcomes" Adm. Sci. 7, no. 1: 7.

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