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Nurs Econ. 2000 Mar-Apr;18(2):79-87.

Redesigning nursing work in long-term care environments.

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Nursing Effectiveness, Utilization, and Outcomes Research Unit, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The authors present a highly statistically oriented argument for examining work attitudes and activities among three groups of caregivers [RNs, RPNs, and HCAs] working in long-term care. The investigators used both work sampling, written surveys, and interviews with a sample of 46 caregivers in a large university-affiliated LTC facility in Toronto, Canada. While RNs stated their strong affinity for direct patient care activities, they perform the lowest percentage of direct care, chiefly due to their accountability for planning and coordinating the care provided by others. The HCAs who provided the bulk of direct patient care "valued it the least," apparently finding little gratification with this aspect of their role. This study suggests that there is a need to examine and clarify work roles and perceptions for all caregivers as part of any work redesign process. A higher level of RN involvement in direct patient care activities, along with "attention to enhancing the importance" of these activities for staff employed in the HCA role, could be beneficial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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