Concept Of Workload In Nursing



The heavy workload of nurses in America is currently a major problem happening in almost all healthcare institutes and organizations. There a couple of reasons that need to be understood behind the high workload that nurses are experiencing today. These include mainly the increasing demand of nurses, inadequate supply of nurses and reduced monetary incentives for nurses with extra shifts and overtime. All of this collectively contributes to the development of the workload concept among nurses and its constantly increasing percentage.
The demand of nurses is showing an uphill trend with the percentage of aging population increasing in the country. Between the years 2000 to 2020, it is expected that the population of the US will increase by 18 percent (Gurses, 2012). The current number of nurses working in different capacities in different healthcare institutes and organizations is not sufficient to meet the rising demand and hence the concept of workload in the nursing profession is constantly on the rise.
However, in order to further comprehend and develop an understanding approach towards the issue it is important to assess and analyse it from different perspectives. Workload in the profession of nursing can be divided in four main categories. These include workload at unit level, job level, patient level and situation level.
At the unit level which is among the most commonly used form of workload is mainly an outcome of the imbalance nurse patient ratio. Different researches have suggested that high nursing workloads has a rather adverse impact on the health and patient outcome. It is important that in order to curb the impact of this type of workload, not only physical or apparent but different contextual and conceptual factors required for improving performance of nurses are considered and applied in an effective manner.
At job level, the nature of workload is mainly determined on the kind of job that the nurse is engaged in. This is mainly done in comparing the workload of nurses that work for instance in ICU with the other that works in general ward. Also, on this level it is important that contextual factors such as level of motivation and facilitation that they get at work are considered to help differentiate between the workload that even two nurses working in the same job capacity share together.
On a patient level, it is understood that the nature of workload will be dependent on the condition of the patient and the state that he is going through. Even though the therapeutic sessions and other treatment modes remain a dominant factor, it is important to consider other factors as well that influence workload such as delays in treatment due to ineffective communication between doctors or insufficient supply of proper medicines required for the patient may reflect in increased workload for nurses in such conditions.
Situation based workload among nurses can occur in terms of a major incident or imposition of emergency in hospitals for different reasons. In this context the number of patients that a nurse is attending is a major question and area that needs to be addressed in order to reduce the number of hours that a nurse is supposed to invest in attending a single patient.
Also, there are other factors as well that influence this process such as proper supply of necessary medication and equipment that a patient requires in case of an emergency, proper healthcare facilities and technological devices through which the treatment of the patient can be enhanced and workload of a nurse can be reduced to minimum.


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