Nurses' working time use – how value adding it is?

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AimTo investigate registered nurses' (RN) and licensed practical nurses' (LPN) working time use in adult inpatient units.BackgroundThere is only scarce information about value-adding patient care. Nursing care can be divided into three major categories: value-adding care (direct care, indirect care, patient documentation), necessary activities (indirect work, unit-related work) and non-value-adding work (personal time, miscellaneous work).MethodA cross-sectional quantitative work sampling study. Total of 11 029 nursing activities were collected from two Finnish tertiary hospitals using registered nurses' (n = 66) and licensed practical nurses' (n = 12) self-reporting.ResultsNearly three-quarters of nurses' work was value-adding care (71%). The working time division was almost identical for necessary activities and non-value-adding work. Registered nurses spent more time carrying out unit-related work, while licensed practical nurses' spent more time on direct care. Nurses' working time use was divided nearly identically in somatic units but there were differences when compared with psychiatric units.Conclusion and implications for nursing managementNurses' work seemed to concentrate on value-adding care. The results of working time use studies can be used when developing nursing work for more value-adding care for the patients.

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