Work sampling: a quantitative analysis of nursing activity in a neuro-rehabilitation setting
Article first published online: 7 AUG 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 65, Issue 10, pages 2097–2107, October 2009
How to Cite
Williams, H., Harris, R. and Turner-Stokes, L. (2009), Work sampling: a quantitative analysis of nursing activity in a neuro-rehabilitation setting. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65: 2097–2107. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2009.05073.x
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 7 AUG 2009
- Accepted for publication 8 May 2009
- nursing activity;
- quantitative analysis;
- rehabilitation nursing;
- work sampling
Title. Work sampling: a quantitative analysis of nursing activity in a neuro-rehabilitation setting.
Aim. The aim of this investigation was to establish the distribution and proportion of nursing activity represented by patient-related care activities (direct and indirect), and other nursing activities (unit-related and personal) within one inpatient neurological rehabilitation unit.
Background. A set of tools has been developed for estimating the care/nursing hours required for direct hands-on patient care in hospital rehabilitation settings. However, to apply this information to estimate the actual staffing requirements in relation to a given caseload, it is necessary to know the proportion of nursing workload assigned to other activities and how this may vary throughout the day.
Method. A work sampling study was conducted during 2004. A snapshot of nursing activity was recorded at 5-minute intervals from 06·00 to 23·55 spread over 2 weeks, with one session from 06·00 to 15·25 and the second from 15·30 to 23·55.
Results. A total of 8883 nursing activities were observed and recorded over 126 hours and categorized as follows: 4060 (46%) direct patient care, 2218 (25%) indirect patient care, 874 (10%) unit-related and 1731 (19%) personal time. The proportions of direct care fluctuated throughout the day, with direct care activities mainly concentrated in early mornings and to a lesser extent evenings.
Conclusion. Direct patient care accounted for less than half of the nursing activity in a rehabilitation setting. Estimates of staffing requirement must also take account of the time required for indirect care and non-patient related activity.