Nurse work environment: Article Critical Analysis
Critical appraisal is conducted for 3 main reasons; a) to improve nursing practice, b) to increase nursing knowledge and understanding c) to provide a baseline for the study to be conducted. There is need for thorough understanding of the research study so as to establish the study strengths and weaknesses, and to evaluate the quality if strength of the evidence developed by the study as well as the appropriateness of its use in the reader’s practice.
In this context, this essay is a critical appraisal of the following article; Ma, C., & Park, S. H. (2015). Hospital Magnet status, unit work environment, and pressure ulcers. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(6), 565-573.
The article introduces the topic in a way that orientates the reader to the subject. It provides the background information using succinct statements. The last sentence of the introduction part is the thesis statement (Creswell, 2014; Jaul, 2013). Pressure ulcers are critical patient issue because they are associated with prolonged hospital stays, increases patient risks for adverse events and increased consumption of the healthcare costs (Cai, Rahman, & Intrator, 2013; Buttaro et al., 2013, p. 304).
Nurses play crucial role in preventing pressure ulcers. However, the degree of patient safety is determined by the nurse work place environment, “The organizational factors in work-environments facilitate or constrain the professional nursing practice” (Ma & Parks, 2015, p. 566). The article evaluates the nursing factors at both the hospital and unit level associated with Hospital acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU).
The research problem and its significance
The research problem in this study is the organization’s factors or nurse work environment that negatively influence patient’s outcome, such as increasing HAPU incidence. “The unit-level work environments have major impact on the nurse work environment” (Ma & Sharks, 2015, p.65). The research problem is a focal point of research. It is well stated in this article and generates questions in which the research study aims to address (Stafford & Brower, 2012, p. 11; Suttipong & Sindhu, 2011, p. 373).
On the other hand, the significance of a study is the rationale of the study. The researcher proves to the audience that the research is vital and worth doing it. For instance, the study indicates that the need to reduce hospital acquired pressure ulcers has gained national attention. “There are approximately 2.5 million pressure ulcers that occur in the USA, and coasts $9.1-11.6 billion (Ma &Sharks, 2015, p. 65).”
The research design and methods
Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt state that research design is the overall strategy chosen by the researcher to integrate different components of the study. It should be constructed in a logical manner to ensure that the researcher effectively address the research problem using the appropriate data collection method and analysis of data. In this context, design includes the study setting, description of the study sample, data collection method and data analysis. This part describes all the instruments used and their rationale; (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2014; Lewis, 2014).
The research method is used in this article is qualitative. The research design used in this article is the Cross-sectional observational study of data collected from the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI). This research design is appropriate for this study because it examines the relationship of exposure and outcome in a defined population at one point in time.
In addition, the research design is inexpensive, less time consuming and provides a good but quick picture of prevalence of the research problem and its outcome. Although appropriate for this study, the main issue with this research design lacks time element making it difficult to determine the temporal relationship between the research problem and the outcome of the proposed intervention (Ma & Sharks, 2015, p.567).
Data used in this article was collected from NDNQI. NDNQI is a repository for nursing quality data in the USA that enables the researchers to conduct comparative analysis in order to develop evidence based practices for nursing-sensitive patient practices and outcomes at unit level.
The data collected was supplemented with the NDNQI RN survey, which collected information related to nurse work conditions such as work content, environments and demographics. The total participants for RN survey was 33, 845 from 1,381 units in 373 healthcare facilities in 44 States. The inclusion criteria for this survey were nurses who had spent 50% of their time in general units in the hospital within the last three months.
The researcher also established measures to ensure reliability of the data collected, “To ensure reliability of the aggregated unit measures…… units with RN response rate below 50% were excluded from data analysis (Ma & Sharks, 2015, p.566).”
Data analysis of the collected data was compare the nurse work environments, staffing levels, HAPU rates and the RN skill mix of the NDQI member hospitals. Three multilevel logistic regression models were used to estimate the effect of nurse work environment and healthcare facilities management of HAPU. The data analysis used is appropriate for this nature of the study as it provides conclusive comparative analysis (Ma & Sharks, 2015, p.568).
Findings and their relevance to contemporary nursing policy and practice
The study examined work environments impact on management of HAPU at hospital and unit level. The study findings indicate that improving working environments both at hospital level and unit level results to lower HAPU rates. The data findings presentation in this article is concise and appropriately used non-textual elements such as table summaries and figures to present data findings effectively. The data provided is critical in answering the research question. For instance, Magnet hospital units had 21% low odds of having HAPU as compared to the non-magnet hospital.
There are several limitations noted in this study. To start with, participation of hospitals in NDNQI is voluntary, which indicates overrepresentation or underrepresentation of hospitals with certain characteristics. Secondly, the study omitted some specific information such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other co-morbidities that could introduce residual confounding effects. In addition, patient level information in most of quality indicators is limited.
Despite the limitations, the study findings are consistent with the previous studies. The nursing implication of this study is that it improves the understanding of work environments in relation to patient’s outcomes. In this context, the nurse work environment refers to the context in which the nurses provide patient centered care (Guihan et al., 2016, Matsuo, Oie, & Furukawa, 2013).
The quality of care is influenced by the nurse work environment characteristics such as the administrative support, nurse-physician relations and nurse resource adequacy. Effective nurse work environments are established through better communication, team work between the healthcare providers and higher autonomy/practice control.
Nurses in such types of environments are less likely to suffer from burnout or express intent to quit their jobs, but are likely to function efficiently, deliver superior quality of care that ultimately improves patient’s overall outcome (Demarre et al., 2014, p. 392; Singh et al., 2015, p.7; Neilson et al., 2014, p. 21).
The study findings in this study facilitate the understanding the link between organizational environments and the patient outcomes. This study highlights the effectiveness of unit-specific quality improvement initiatives in today’s highly specialized care. This study generates new ideas that will help improve patient safety and quality of care in nursing practice.
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