The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

WALK A MILE IN OUR SHOES: AN EVALUATION OF WALKING AND WORKLOAD PRODUCTIVITY FOR RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTITIONERS (RCP).

J. M. Brown 1, L. Killian1

Background: Recently, evidence has shown that taking at least 10,000 steps a day is the path to a healthier lifestyle. As RCPs we must walk the halls of the hospitals in order provide care. But, how many steps does a RCP take in order to provide that care? And more importantly, as managers, should we take these steps in account when figuring out workload productivity for our facilities? In this study we took a look at the distance our RCPs travel in order to evaluate whether travel time should be considered when we determine workload productivity per full time equivalent (FTE).

Methods: We randomly picked RCP’s to wear pedometers for an eight (8) hour shift of patient care. All of the RCP's selected had assignments that covers at least two clinical areas. The pedometer was sealed in order to blind the staff from knowing the amount of steps they had taken. At the end of the shift the staff was given a questionnaire in order to evaluate how they felt about their assignment and workload using the following Likert scale: 5= strongly agree, 4= agree, 3= unsure, 2= disagree, 1= strongly disagree. After the RCPs completed their questionnaire the number steps where recorded and revealed. We also collected the RCPs’ scheduled and actual workload productivity for their assignments.

Result: We had a total of 40 RCPs participate. The average steps per eight (8) hour shift were 9309. Productivity was based on AARC time standards (see table for additional result).

Conclusion: Based on actual and scheduled productivity our RCP’s are given assignments that allow them time to do patient care, participate in activities that help increase patients care, and have down time. However, after evaluating our data we found that our RCP’s walk a great distance in order to accomplish these tasks which ultimately could limit their down time. The average person takes about two thousand (2,000) steps per mile which means our RCP’s walk approximately four and one half miles (4.5 miles) between patient visits. The RCPs also did not agree with the statements that were directed toward having an obtainable distance between assigned areas. We propose that when Respiratory Care Departments develop their productivity to FTE standards, they should consider the distance their staff has to travel in order to provide care.

Data
Number of RCPs 42
Scheduled Productivity 1.03* FTE (± 0.43)
Actual Productivity 1.04* FTE (± 0.46)
Average Steps 9018.65 (± 3363.72)
I had a typical assignment for my shift.4.05 (± 0.7)
My assigned areas (units) were within a reasonable distance of each other. 3.93 (± 0.97)
I was physically able to handle my assignment today. 4.29 (± 0.6)
I was not called away (pages, phone calls, codes) from my assigned task during my shift today. 2.33 (± 1.26)
I had a good day at work. 4.1 (± 0.66)

*1 FTE is base on 80% workload productivity (6.4 hours of patient care per 8 hour shift)


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