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Title: The association of nurses' shift characteristics, missed vital signs observations and sickness absence : retrospective observational study using routinely collected data
Author: Dall'Ora, Chiara
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 6948
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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When organising shift work, healthcare managers are required to cover the service across 24 hours in a way that maximises job performance – which includes minimising sickness absence related to work, and creating conditions that allow nursing staff to perform their scheduled tasks. This study aimed to investigate the association between characteristics of shift work in acute hospital wards and nursing staff job performance, in terms of sickness absence and compliance with vital signs observations. This was a retrospective longitudinal observational study using routinely collected data on nursing staff shifts, missed vital signs observations and sickness absence. The study took place in all acute inpatient general wards at a large teaching hospital in the South of England over a three years period. Shift and sickness data were extracted from the electronic shift system and overtime shifts datasets, which are both linked to the hospital payroll. These contain individual records of shifts worked, dates, start and end time, ward and grade for all nurses employed by the hospital. Vital signs observations data were extracted from a database of records made using the VitalPAC™ system. Generalised linear mixed models were used to model the association between shift work characteristics, sickness absence episodes and compliance with vital signs observations. This doctoral research provides new knowledge regarding the association of shift characteristics and job performance outcomes. It found that working high proportions of 12 hours or more shifts is associated with higher sickness absence, regardless of how many days nursing staff had worked in the previous seven days. An association between working 12 hours or more shifts and delaying vital signs observations was found for health care assistants. Drawing on a large and diverse sample size and using objective data, this study is the first in nursing to demonstrate that there is an association between long shifts and job performance.
Supervisor: Griffiths, Peter ; Recio Saucedo, Alejandra ; Ball, Jane Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available