Development of a nursing workload measurement instrument in burn care

A.E. Jong, J. Leeman, E. Middelkoop

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Existing workload measurement instruments fail to represent specific nursing activities in a setting where patients are characterized by a diversity of cause, location, extent and depth of burns, of age and of history. They also do not include educational levels and appropriate time standards. The aim of this study was to develop a reliable measurement instrument for nursing workload in burn care, in order to match quality of patient care with staffing needs. In the first phase, a time study by semi-structured interviews and observations was used to assess direct and indirect care activities. A total of 34 nursing activities were identified, defined, connected to educational levels and attached to time standards. Two independent raters completed a test computer program by assessing performed nursing activities in 36 patients. This yielded intra-class correlations of 0.82, indicating good reliability. In the second phase, a computer program was developed to process quantity and quality of available staff and the sum of time standards of nursing activities per patient per day and to calculate the balance. After 1 year of running this program, the database was used to distinguish patients' care demand into five care categories. This instrument justifies the investment of time by nursing staff needed for daily activities in the burn unit. It provides quick insight into the balance between care demand and staffing needs and can be used to optimise resource planning
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)942-948
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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