Background: Stroke coordinators (SC) are key stroke program personnel. However, little is known about the SC role or barriers to practice. We designed a role study to better understand barriers to SCs practice and contributors to burnout and and turnover.
Methods: a role survey was developed using Dillman’s Tailored Design Methods and addressed orientation to role, mentoring and barriers to practice. The voluntary survey was distributed by email through three stroke organizations in Illinois and targeted SCs and advanced practice nurses (APN) with stroke program responsibilities.
Results: 40 participants from 33 different facilities responded to the role survey. 65% of respondents identified as SC, 30% as stroke program manager/director, 20% as an APN. 17% had worked at other facilities previously as a stroke coordinator or similar role. 46% of respondents reported not having adequate resources to perform duties as stroke coordinator. Top reported moderate or extreme barriers to success in the role were lack of time (78%), lack of role clarity by supervisor (32%), lack of role definition as stroke coordinator (30%), lack of mentorship (27%), lack of on-the-job training (22%), and lack of formal education (19%). SCs and APNs with program coordination responsibilities report to a variety of different supervisor roles, including nursing management (38%), quality department (27%), other hospital administration (14%), service line management (8%), a physician (5%), other (6%). 70% of respondents reported they had not been mentored by anyone at their facility once hired into the role and 16% of coordinators reported they were considering leaving their position in the next year.
Conclusions: While stroke coordinators and APNs with programmatic oversight are viewed as integral to program success, many are struggling with lack of role clarity, time management, adequate resources, and lack of mentorship. These factors may be contributing to turnover and burnout.