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A Research Critique

Staffing Patterns of Scheduled Unit Staff Nurses VS Float Pool Nurses
Mr. Jhessie L. Abella, RN, RM, MAN

As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung. 1 A little bird was flying south for the winter. While he was lying there. a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.Life's Lesson No. The dung was actually thawing him out! . he began to realize how warm he was. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field.

Moral of the story: (1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy. the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung.He lay there all warm and happy. it’s best to keep your mouth shut! . and promptly dug him out and ate him. Following the sound. (2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. and soon began to sing for joy. (3) And when you’re in deep shit.

The hypothesis posted in this study is that. There is no difference in patient assignments between float pool nurses’ and scheduled unit staff nurses in a hospital setting. . The researcher sought to find out whether the float nurses receives the most difficult assignment compared to the staff nurses.Staffing Patterns of Scheduled Unit Staff Nurses VS Float Pool Nurses This study pertains to examine the differences in patient assignment between float pool nurses versus the scheduled unit staff nurses.

Many of the specialty units within the hospital are considered closed staffed. mental health.renal 34 beds.Methods of Research The Setting and Sample The researcher used a comparative study performed in medical surgical. neurology and orthopedic in patient units at a large quaternary care hospital in the Midwest. Exclusion criteria were women’s care. and cardiovascular inpatient care units. and outpatient care units. three progressive care units of 22 beds each). GU/GYN 40 beds). orthopedic. oncology 34 beds. spine (40 beds). cardiovascular. emergency department. CCU 16 beds. The hospital is stratified in communities of service that includes cardiovascular (ICU 16 beds. neurology (46 beds). . medical surgical (general beds of 40. neurology. neurology ICU (27 beds). and orthopedics (2 units with 20 beds each) Inclusion criteria were the medical surgical.

and Acuity of Patient Condition. . The hospital utilized the what they called the “Acuity System”. Patient Flow. • The composite level of assignment difficulty was represented with three DEPENDENT Variables: Patient Volume. But during the conduct of the study some units were not using this scene of patient care distribution.Data Collection • The researcher randomly selected three 8 hour shifts and two 12 hour shift occurring from November to December.

transfer or surgical patient Volume Number of patients cared for throughout the shift For example if a nurse started with four patients. If the nurse had one patient discharge and then received a surgical patient.Acuity Acuity based on the hospital acuity system Level 1 to 5 Flow 1 patient for each admission. the flow would be two. discharge. If the acuity was 16 the difficulty score would be 22 (4 volume+2 flow+16 acuity) . the volume would be four.


T test were used to test the null hypothesis. The independent variable were the nurses group: float nurse versus non float.Statistical Analysis Descriptive statistics were used to describe trends. and factors of patient assignment of float and unit nurses. . patterns.

92.8. In terms of patient volume the mean for float nurses was 12.7 and the mean for unit staff nurses was 11.Result of the Study Patient assignments from 217 shifts were analyzed and although there was a tendency for float pool nurses to receive more difficult patient assignment compared to unit staff nurses. while the mean acuity for unit staff nurses was 13.12 for the staff nurses. The mean patient acuity for float pool nurses was 13. this was not statistically significant.18.13 for the float pool nurses and 14. . The mean of patient flow was 15.

 Is it only the staffing pattern or there could have been a deeper analysis of the staffing pattern concerning the staffs. Because based on the findings of the study it yield no significant difference on the tests performed because of the minimal difference between the means. I find this study very superficial because of its focus concerning the staff patterns. This study does not clearly showed us that float nurses receives the most difficult assignments compared to staff nurses. . The problem is stated plainly because it only deals with the staffing patterns of the Float Nurses and the Staff Nurses. There is no specific problem posted in the study that is why it is still unclear to me what the researcher really intended to find out.

 If I were to do this research I would focus on the  Quality of Jobs performed by FN and SN or the  Quality of Care received by he patient offered by FN and SN  Institutional Benefits of having FN  Floating Nurses Issues of Patient Safety  In this way the findings of the study would have been much helpful for the institution as well as the nursing profession to evaluate the job performed by these nurse and the difference of care rendered for the patient would warrant more importance.  With regards to the arrangement of literatures it does not clearly outline the problem of staffing patterns. The researcher could have exhume readings and other materials that could supplement the problem of staffing and the possible outcomes of staffing patterns given to float nurses. . For me it is just a mere collections of readings and study which does not support the present problem or should I say it does not established a “Gap”. If the researcher focused on the bigger picture of the staffing pattern there could me more hypothesis to be tested to determine the reliability and the meaning of the this study.

 Research instruments serves a measurement tools and are an integral component of any nursing research study. In this case how can we measure precisely the acuity of patient given to float nurses if the units included as samples were not utilizing the same patient acuity rating. . This would be inconsistent with the other units utilizing the acuity rating. At the time of the data collection NOT all patient care units in the hospital (units who are included as samples) were using the same ACUITY system developed for the organization. For me this will not measure what it ought to measure in terms of patient classification... How will this established that float nurses receives the most difficult task?.. Instrument for research must be VALID which means that it used measure precisely what it intends to measure. The research tool utilized 3 variables to measure the Staffing Pattern in the research local...

Because for a FACT most intensive care units have only one to two patient per nurse. Again reliability of the tools is yet again spoiled. while on the other hand a night shift nurse may have six patients with NO Patient FLOW at all.  Further evaluation of the study reveals to me that inclusion criteria which includes THREE 8 Hours shift. The patient Volume measuring the difference between float nurse and staff nurse is then affected because of the inclusion criteria set by the researcher. and two 12 Hour shift would have resulted to a non reliable data. Because for example a day shift medical surgical nurse may have three to five patients including new admissions. . Another point in critiquing this study is that the researcher have included the special areas such as the intensive care units which I think have affected the results of the study.

The research only pertains to only two categorical variable of the independent variable however due to lack of research tool validity the appropriateness of the statistical tool performed does not clearly provide us with enough evidence there is really a difference in staffing assignment performed by the float and staff nurses. I don’t have any problem with the statistical test performed because this is the most appropriate test. . In this study the researcher have utilized T test to determine the significant difference of two groups the float nurse and the staff nurse.

Thank You! .