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Nurs Ethics. 2020 Jan 24:969733019895797. doi: 10.1177/0969733019895797. [Epub ahead of print]

Nurses' experiences of working under time pressure in care for older persons.

Author information

1
KU Leuven, Belgium.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The international health workforce crisis had led to an increasing shortage of nurses, which has substantial implications for the quality of patient care. This shortage potentially results in nurse-perceived time pressure, which can be particularly challenging for nurses who provide care for older persons.

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed to show how geriatric nurses experience working under time pressure, perceive its impact on care and deal with time pressure in daily care.

RESEARCH DESIGN:

A qualitative descriptive interview design was used.

PARTICIPANTS AND RESEARCH CONTEXT:

Purposive sampling led to the inclusion of 11 nurses from three geriatric nursing wards in two general hospitals in Flanders (Belgium). Data were collected using semi-structured in-depth interviews and analysed using the QUAGOL (Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven).

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS:

The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University Hospitals Leuven (Ethics committee of the University Hospitals Leuven).

FINDINGS:

In all interviews, time pressure was described as ubiquitous in the daily care of older persons. A sense of failure in providing care was the common thread in many interviews. Nurses felt compelled to 'reduce' good-quality care to basic care by focusing on the physical and visible aspects of care. Nevertheless, personal experiences with time pressure and strategies to cope with it differed among the interviewees. These variations were related to the working environment and the nurses themselves. They underscored the importance of nurses' perspectives for a good understanding of the phenomenon of time pressure.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:

Working under time pressure in the care of older persons leads to various important challenges for nursing ethics. The findings show that providing care that promotes the human dignity of older persons in busy working environments in which care is rationed is an important ethical challenge. As such, our study offers a baseline for further research and discussion on how to support nurses working under time pressure.

KEYWORDS:

Empirical approaches; care of older people; ethics; grounded theory; missed care; qualitative research; time pressure

PMID:
31975637
DOI:
10.1177/0969733019895797

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