The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2002 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A SURVEY OF NURSING ACTIVITIES REGARDING RESPIRATORY CARE.

Richard D. Rice, B.S., R.R.T., Lucy Kester, M.B.A., R.R.T., F.A.A.R.C., James K. Stoller, M.S., M.D., F.A.A.R.C. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio.

 Background: In the context of current stretched healthcare provider resources, strategies to optimize allocation of clinical services are being actively explored. To better understand the types of respiratory care-related activities provided by nurses and the amount of time allocated to these activities, we conducted the current survey.

Methods: A questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 105 nurses at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation during their shifts. The questionnaire was administered by a respiratory therapist, either by interview or by nurse self-administration. We recorded the clinical venue (e. g., intensive care unit or regular nursing floor) and the duration of the nurse?s assigned shift (i.e., 8 or 12 hours). The survey asked the nurse to estimate the time involved on an average shift performing the following activities: setting up supplemental oxygen, measuring pulse oximetry, administering aerosolized medications, administering all medications, instructing the patient regarding incentive spirometry, performing suctioning, performing tracheostomy care, performing electrocardiograms, phlebotomy, as well as charting and paper work. The questionnaire also surveyed the amount of time taken measuring vital signs, inserting and maintaining intravenous lines, maintaining chest tubes, and transporting patients.

Results: Of the 105 questionnaires administered, 4 were excluded because of incomplete data. Fifty-six of the nurses who completed forms were on 8-hour shifts and 45 were on 12-hour shifts. Ninety-one of the nurses (90%) surveyed worked on regular nursing floors and 10 worked in an intensive care unit. Table 1 presents the mean percent of time on the total shift (whether 8 or 12-hour) reported performing some of the commonly performed respiratory care-related tasks.

Table 1. Results of the Survey

Task Adm. Aerosol Meds Suction Trach Care Setting Up O2 Incentive Spirometry Lab Draw Chest Tubes

Pulse Oximetry

Mean % 0.4% 7% 5% 2% 3% 5% 3% 2%

 

Cumulative respiratory care-related activities were reported to consume 29% (+ 26) of the nurses? shift time.

Conclusions: The results of this survey suggest that a small but significant amount of nurses? time is allocated to performing respiratory care-related activities. In the context of current goals to allocate optimal care, this study invites re-examining ways in which respiratory therapists and nurses can optimally collaborate in providing care to patients.

 

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