Nursing activities score and workload in the intensive care unit of a university hospital

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Objective: The nursing workload consists of the time spent by the nursing staff to perform the activities for which they are responsible, whether directly or indirectly related to patient care. The aim of this study was to evaluate the nursing workload in an adult intensive care unit at a university hospital using the Nursing Activities Score (NAS) instrument. Methods: A longitudinal, prospective study that involved the patients admitted to the intensive care unit of a university hospital between March and December 2008. The data were collected daily to calculate the NAS, the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II), the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) and the Therapeutic Intervention Scoring System (TISS-28) of patients until they left the adult intensive care unit or after 90 days of hospitalization. The level of significance was set at 5%. Results: In total, 437 patients were evaluated, which resulted in an NAS of 74.4%. The type of admission, length of stay in the intensive care unit and the patients' condition when leaving the intensive care unit and hospital were variables associated with differences in the nursing workload. There was a moderate correlation between the mean NAS and APACHE II severity score (r=0.329), the mean organic dysfunction SOFA score (r=0.506) and the mean TISS-28 score (r=0.600). Conclusion: We observed a high nursing workload in this study. These results can assist in planning the size of the staff required. The workload was influenced by clinical characteristics, including an increased workload required for emergency surgical patients and patients who died.




Altafin, J. A. M., Grion, C. M. C., Tanita, M. T., Festti, J., Cardoso, L. T. Q., Veiga, C. F. F., … Matsuo, T. (2014). Nursing activities score and workload in the intensive care unit of a university hospital. Revista Brasileira de Terapia Intensiva, 26(3), 292–298.

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