Researchers will investigate whether more AINs impact patient, staff and system outcomes.
The impact of increasing the number of assistants in nursing has on patient, nurse and ward level outcomes will be investigated by a team of Australian and Canadian researchers.
Professor Christine Duffield, one of the chief investigators, said the project would delve into the issue of skill mix, which in the past has been an issue that has taken a back seat to nurse/patient ratios.
“When you look at the data, the indication is that skill mix could be extremely important in improving outcomes. This is what we want to find out,” said Duffield, director of Centre for Health Services Management at the UTS Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health.
The four year project will identify the impact of increasing the proportion of assistants in nursing on outcomes for patients (morbidity, mortality, quality of emotional care); staff (job satisfaction, intention to remain in the job); and the work environment (time spent in patient care, relationships with medical staff, staff experiences, leadership and support of workers).
Identifying the impact at the three levels will give a far better indication of the true impact that skill mix has on outcomes, said fellow chief investigator Dr Michael Roche, also from UTS.
“We will also compare these findings to our earlier studies to form a more complete picture of how hospitals wards should be staffed for optimal effectiveness. We will also determine whether adding an unregulated worker makes a difference to the work that nurses do and the impact on patients."
UTS was awarded a $300,000 ARC Linkage Grant for the project and will the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Perth, WA, along with colleagues from Edith Cowan University and the University of Toronto, Canada, to undertake the project.
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