Scand J Caring Sci; 2013; 27; 388–395
Care priorities- Registered Nurses’ clinical daily work in municipal care settings
Common in Swedish elderly home care is that Registered Nurses work independently, and lead the care team without being a part of it. People involved in the care of the patient can be social services, physician, Registered Nurse (RN), nurses in inpatient care and family. In according to current model for nursing documentation RNs interventions is described as participation, information/education, support, environment, general care, training, observation/surveillance, special care drug administration and coordination. Time pressure is perceived as high, but the nurses have the opportunity to influence their daily work situation and make priorities. The purpose of this study was to investigate how RNs prioritise interventions in municipal elderly care settings. A quantitative descriptive method was used for the study. Data were collected during the months of April and October 2004 – 2008, using a web-based form. The nurses filled in patient’s type of housing, performed interventions, and if the interventions were delegated. Interventions were described as keywords and were attributed a certain amount of time, calculated in previous time studies. The inclusion criteria were: all patients 80 years of age and older, in a municipality in south-western Sweden, who received some form of health care from a RN, or performed by non-certified staff by delegation. Results indicate that differences in priority could be observed, depending on the patient’s gender, or whether the patient was living in independent or sheltered housing. Drug administration was prioritised for female patients, while coordination became a priority for patients living in ordinary housing. Support received the highest priority, regardless if the patient lived in ordinary or sheltered housing. However, it is not entirely clear what support signifies in municipal health care settings, and this issue would therefore require further investigation.