Title

Nurses' Perceptions of Workload Burden in Pediatric Critical Care.

Author ORCiD Identifier

Lebet: 0000-0001-6805-9461

Curley: 0000-0001-5228-6694

Publication Title

American journal of critical care : an official publication, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

Document Type

Article

PubMed ID

33385203

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Quantifying nurses' perceptions of workload burden when managing critically ill patients is essential for designing interventions to ease nurses' workday.

OBJECTIVES: To explore pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurses' perceptions of their workload when caring for critically ill patients and managing protocolized therapies.

METHODS: This study was embedded in a multicenter randomized clinical trial where participants were assigned to receive either lower-target or higher-target glucose control. Nurses from 35 participating PICUs completed a baseline survey containing questions about their perceptions of PICU workload in general. They completed an intervention survey after caring for a study patient. Two workload measurement instruments, the Subjective Workload Assessment Technique (SWAT) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX), were embedded in these surveys.

RESULTS: Baseline surveys were completed by 1476 PICU nurses, predominantly female with a bachelor's degree and a median (interquartile range) of 6 (3-11) years of nursing experience and 4 (2-9) years of PICU experience. Most nurses (65%) rated time burden as the most important component of their workload, followed by cognitive (22%) or psychological stress (13%) burden. Work performance was selected most often as contributing to workload, followed by cognitive demand, time pressure, effort, and physical demand. Intervention surveys were completed by 73% of enrolled participants (505 of 693). Nurses managing the lower glucose target group reported higher levels of workload burden as measured by the SWAT (P = .002) and NASA-TLX (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: This study describes the workload burden perceived by PICU nurses when managing critically ill patients in general and when managing protocolized therapies.

DOI

10.4037/ajcc2021725

Publication Date

1-1-2021

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