The Outcome of Nurses Absenteeism on the Wards.INTRODUCTIONAbsenteeism is defined as not coming to work when scheduled, and is measured by frequency or duration of work days missed. There are two different types of absences non-cupable (involuntary or approved) absence and cupable (voluntary or unapproved) absence.
Involuntary absenteeism is when absenteeism takes place due to unavoidable circumstance such as illness, injury or death in family. Other the other hand, cupable or voluntary absenteeism is when the nurse chooses to be absent from work for reasons that are not due to any emergencies (Davey, Cummings, Newburn-Cook, & Lo, 2009). According to Unruh (2008) absenteeism jeopardizes quality of care and patients’ safety, increases length of stay and lowers nurses’ job satisfaction.Estimates from The public health NHS (Nation Health Service) places the cost of staff absenteeism due to poor health at 2.
4 million a year accounting for around 1 million in every 40 million of the total budget. To fix this problem the NHS launched a major drive to improve the health and well-being of the nurse’s .In Trinidad and Tobago, absenteeism among the nursing staff is observed to be gradually increasing. This on-going issue affects both the staff and the patients at hand. We believe that our research on nurse’s absenteeism will give an insight to the predominant factors causing the issue of absenteeism among nurses while illustrating how these factors hampers others. Never the less as a nurse there are several responsibility that the profession holds one of which include encouraging and teaching new members of the profession, so they would become competent clinicians, proficient leaders and rule abiding members of staff. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as nurses themselves need the encouragement to attend work.
As student nurses training on the wards we observed that when nurses do not agree with the management style or they are displeased or uncomfortable they refuse to conform which was sometimes observed to result in them being absent from duty. This form of absenteeism is culpable absenteeism. Issues Nurse Managers or head nurses of the wards often experience include difficulties in altering work schedules and reallocating the nursing tasks of those who are absent from work to the nurses who are present, to ensure the continuity of patient care in the unit.
This places more strain and increased workload on the nurses present. In some cases nurses who worked the night shift remain working or “pooling” to fit in for an absent nurse on the morning shift the following day.A nurse allocated to stand in for an absent colleague may be unfamiliar with the tasks to be performed since he or she is usually from another ward or specialized area where the environment and ward culture may be slightly different.Due to this fact, he or she may need orientation and more supervision from the unit manager to perform newly allocated tasks. As a result this takes away from the time that could have been used other wise to complete a vital procedure or put toward more serious and important matters.
RESEARCH PROBLEM: Based on our various allocations on different wards over the past three years at a hospital in Trinidad we the students have observed that at least one nurse is absent on EACH shift on a daily basis.. Due to this students are stuck doing tasks unsupervised that are not preparing them for exam and no new skills are being learnt, and leave the wards tired at the end of the day. Patients also experience deterioration in the quality of patient care provided since there are too many patients for the few nurses present. Unfortunately patients do not receive the care and attention needed.
Procedures are not done the ideal way to save time and patients healths are being compromised.PURPOSE STATEMENT:To explore the factors contributing to the absenteeism of nurses onthe wards RESEARCH QUESTIONS: What is the absenteeism rate on the wards? What factors contribute to absenteeism of nurses on the wards? What are the responses of Co-workers, Managers and administrators to absenteeism?VARIABLES Independent Variable- AbsenteeismDependent Variable- FactorsPopulation – Registered NursesOPERATIONAL DEFINITIONSRegistered Nurse: A person trained to provide medical care for the sick or disabled, especially one who.