Capstone Project: Nurse Stats

Pages: 6 (1568 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing  ·  Buy This Paper

Nurse Stats

A brief overview of the measured statistics in this study and their mean, central tendencies, on confidence intervals yield some interesting possibilities that warrant further inspection and more focused research. One item of immediate importance is the disparity between respondents' self-reported level of overall job satisfaction when explicitly approached in this regard and the evidence of job satisfaction on the specific parameters identified and researched in the survey instrument. The "overall job satisfaction" item on the instrument had a mean ranking of 7.64, yet the mean ranking for other responses measuring individual parameters believed (and validated through research) to be contributing factors in overall job satisfaction is only 5.97. This suggests either a bias in respondents towards evaluating their work situation when viewed as a whole compared to when they examine its individual components, or a lack of accuracy and/or comprehensiveness in the design and assumptions of the instrument and study itself (Hunter & Schmidt, 2004; Polit & Beck, 2010). The former is in keeping with long-observed psychological biases towards asserting an acceptability of the status quo, but is interesting to note here and could have implications on job stress and performance (Hunter & Schmidt, 2004).

As a general trend, the relatively tight clustering of data would tend to enhance the apparent validity of the instrument and could, in context; the data appears to be normally distributed and the item with the highest variance at 3.41 is highly dependent on individual circumstance and interpersonal relationships ("The help I receive from my charge nurse(s)") (Polit & Beck, 2010; Babbie, 2011). The relatively low variance for responses on each item are indicative of accurate results, and the general concordance of the results is indicative of reliability. Examining items for which the responses show especially tight clustering/low variance and/or with significantly high and significantly low means identifies several specific areas of interest, as well.

The item with the highest mean response on this survey instrument was the second item listed, immediately beneath overall job satisfaction: "The quality of patient care I perform" had a mean rating of 8.28. Again, the potential bias here is well established yet important to note; respondents rated their own performance higher than any single aspect of their work environment likely due in part to a tendency to view one's own actions as correct, perhaps unfairly ascribing certain difficulties to the work environment (Klein & Fowles, 2009). This finding is not enough in and of itself to make any conclusions regarding bias or to discount other responses, however it should be incorporated into further analysis. Correlational data from a more extensive population might help to determine if there is any direct influence between self-assessment of job performance and assessment of the working environment, generally and amongst nursing populations in particular, and limited further analysis could be conducted with the gather data to determine if self-perceived quality of delivered care correlates with any other perceptions regarding environmental measures. In general, however, it is interesting to note that nurses in this study generally ranked their overall job satisfaction as high and their own performance as even higher, but ranked other elements of job satisfaction relatively lowly. The impact that this could have on job stress was not directly addressed by this research, but these preliminary relationships already indicate that performance perceptions are skewed and this could affect results (Klein & Fowles, 2009). The fact that the item with the second-highest rated mean response is "My time management skills" only serves to further reinforce the existence of this bias.

Nurses in this study did not rate themselves especially highly when it came to how they received patient assignments, however, and there was very little variance in this measure, as well. This and the amount of stress felt at the end of the day received similar scores, and are slightly below the mean response rating for all job elements at 5.08 and 5.29, respectively. While these figures are not the most compelling found in the summary statistics for this study, they are quite significant in light of the above-discussed and observed bias. Nurses rate their own performance well generally, and yet they do not tend to rate the acceptance of new patient assignments well, indicating that this is a significant stressor for many nurses, and stress felt at the end of the day is also substantial and would need to be matched with significant rewards to meaningfully result in the observed level of overall job satisfaction. This research did not closely examine rewards -- either intrinsic or extrinsic -- felt by respondents in the performance of their work as nurses, and thus further comment as to how job stress and rewards are comingled in an assessment of overall job satisfaction cannot be made.

Nurses also rate the help they receive from their coworkers at approximately the same level as they rate their acceptance of new patient assignments (a mean of 5.88), which again strikes at the reliability of self-reported measures of performance and satisfaction yet which also provides interesting fodder for further research and analysis. This item also has very high variance (compared to other items on the instrument and included in the study), corresponding with previous research that found the specific atmosphere/environment and issues of personal and interpersonal development all played a significant role in coworker assessment amongst nurses (Doughty et al., 2002). This also suggests the possibility of a highly adversarial atmosphere amongst nurses, in which one's own performance is rated highly but the ratings for coworkers performance/helping is generally low. The lack of felt support and the view of one's own performance and support as substantially above par could be a major contributing factor to job stress experienced. Again, further research would be necessary to determine if this relationship exists and to what degree, if indeed it does; examining the degree to which the disparity in self-perceived performance and the perceived performance of coworkers impacts job satisfaction would also yield interesting results.

The most consistent and telling trend to emerge from this research, however, were the negative ratings of various perceptions of administrative support and understanding. "That I am treated fairly by administration" is ranked only slightly below the mean overall ranking at 5.2, with a relatively high variance, but other measures of administrative support and positive engagement are decidedly lacking. "That administration care about nurses' satisfaction in the emergency department" received the lowest mean ranking in the study, at 2.84, and also has a relatively low variance at 1.14. The standard error of 0.214 also suggests that this mean is likely a close representation of the true population mean in this area, meaning that administrative support -- or perceived administrative support -- is decidedly lacking and almost certainly a major contributor to job stress for nurses. Administrative understanding of nursing demands and help provided by the administration were also bottom-ranked items with strong central tendency and consistency, further cementing the notion that administrative stressors present a significant problem for many nurses and are likely responsible for much of the self-reported job stress seen in this study. Recent research conducted in Australia strongly supports this finding, with administrative stressors a major contributing factor in overall job stress, nursing retention problems, and other issues of job performance and fulfillment (Teo et al., 2011; Teo et al., 2012). The analysis here is not sufficient to determine whether or not a direct correlation between perceived administrative issues/lack of support and overall job stress/job satisfaction exists, but these preliminary findings coupled with previous research definitely make it seem likely.

Most of the results in the study were of a fairly tepid though positive value, with means from 6 to 7.5 or so, indicating that nurses definitely see room for improvement in many of the aspects of their job environments and other conditions… [END OF PREVIEW]

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