To analyze the frequency and core elements of nursing work interruptions in Chinese emergency nursing settings.
Little is known about nursing interruptions, which affect the quality of services in Chinese emergency nursing setting.
A cross-sectional observational study was conducted in three units of an emergency department in a Chinese tertiary hospital. Participants comprised 60 nurses. Data were collected using a questionnaire developed by the researchers specifically for this study.
In total, 25,965 minutes of work were observed and 2,333 interruptions were identified. Most interruptions were from patients, their families, and nurses. Therapeutic nursing and patient observation and documentation were the most frequently interrupted procedures. Most interruptions were negative, and a majority of the nurses immediately responded to interruptions. Significant differences existed in the overall distribution of the core elements among the three nursing units.
The frequency of emergency nursing interruptions were moderate. Most interruptions tend to lead to negative treatment outcomes for patients.
Implications for Nursing Management
Emergency nursing managers should recognize the importance of interruptions, understand work situations better, and develop ways to reduce the incidence of interruptions. Thus, nursing risks can be avoided by reducing the adverse outcomes caused by work interruptions.