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The Effects of Decreased Time Providing Direct Care Within the Nursing Profession

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During the first 50 years of modern day nursing, nurses primarily cared for the ill within their patients’ homes. This allowed the nurse to focus all of her time and effort on one patient. Thus, modern nursing began as a very intimate profession. The nurse knew the patients personally and vice versa. With the advancements of medical technology after World War II, hospitals became a more popular setting for caring for the ill. Nurses were needed within the hospital rather than within individual homes. They were in charge of numerous patients and less time was allowed for one-on-one care. This was a dramatic shift from the initial roll of nurses. As nursing shortages began a few decades ago even less time was spent between nurses and individual patients. These nursing shortages, amount of time required for indirect care, and nurses’ lack of recognition for emotional care contribute to less direct contact with patients which negatively impact their care.
Social and emotional support from others is an important aspect of humanity that contributes to well-being regardless of health status. Hospital patients are often scared, anxious, unfamiliar with their surroundings, and unsure of their future. These feelings may negatively impact their health if they lack psychosocial support. It is one of the many roles of nurses to provide this much needed support to these vulnerable patients. The overall satisfaction of patients and nurses is directly related to the amount of time a nurse spends with their patient. In addition, less nursing errors are seen when nurses spend more time with their patients (Westbrook, Duffield, Li, & Creswick, 2011).
The nursing shorting that began in the 1980’s and continues today is due to a variety of facto...


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...es
Allen, L. (2008). The nursing shortage continues as faculty shortage grows. Nursing
Economics, 26(1), 35-40.
Clarke, T., & Kelleher, M. (2010). Starting a care improvement journey: focusing on the
essentials of bedside nursing care in an Australian teaching hospital. Journal of Clinical
Nursing, 19, 1812-1826.
Westbrook, J.I., Duffield, C., Li, L., & Creswick, N.J. (2011). How much time do nurses have
for patients?: a longitudinal study quantifying hospital nurses’ patterns of task time
distribution and interactions with health care professionals. BMC Health Services
Research, 11(319), 1-12
Wright, S., & McSherry, W. (2013, August 9). How much time do nurses spend on patient care?.
Nursing Times, 109. Retrieved from http://www.nursingtimes.net
Zolnierek, C. D. (2014). An integrative view of knowing the patient. Journal of Nursing
Scholarship, 46(1), 3-10.



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