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Nurses Spend Only 30% of Their Time Caring for Patients

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 2nd, 2010

Here’s a great idea! Let’s let nurses spend more time caring for patients!

Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB) is a joint effort by the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation and Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI.) The key goal of the  initiative is to increase the amount of time nurses spend with patients. (www.ihi.org.) The American Organization of Nurse Executives is also collaborating.

A large body of research shows that if nurses spend more time in direct patient care, clinical outcomes are better and complications are fewer.  The typical nurse spends only about 30 percent of her or his day in direct patient care. The rest of the time they are on the phone, looking for other staff or equipment, tracking down medications, charting at a central nurses’ station, running errands…well you know the rest.

Nurses entered our benevolent profession to care for people. Allowing us to do so increases morale and satisfaction. This is perhaps the greatest nurse retention tool.

To learn more strategies to recruit and retain nurses, contact me. I’d love to come speak at your hospital to increase nurse satisfaction, recruitment and retention.

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