Quantitative Critique: "Differences In Health, Productivity And Quality Of Care In Younger And Older Nurses" Research Papers Example
The research study by Letvak et al (2013) conducted with the intent of analysing the age related variations in context to the working potential and quality of rendered services among nurses of various age groups. The transversal analysis of the study subjects executed for determining the scalability and surge of the nursing workforce under the influence of age progression and health challenges faced by the nursing professionals of North Carolina. The 1171 surveys matching with the inclusion parameters of the study revealed 47% response rate and included 26% of the older nurses among the responding population. The variables affecting the outcome of the study include shift schedules, clinical specialty, working experience and age of the nurses evaluated through the mailed surveys. The study also attempts to compare and contrast the health parameters including body mass indices, smoking history, pain scale and utilization of seat belts among the younger and older nurse participants for analyzing their influence on the quality of patients care rendered by the research subjects of both age groups.
Indeed, the focus of study related to evaluating the influence of health challenges and age advancement on the quality of care and productivity of the nursing professionals. The study conducted with the intent to explore the decrease in performance of the nursing staff with the proportionate advancement of age and progression of morbidities among the qualified registered nurses. The academic literature reveals various evidences advocating the contention of deterioration in performance of the nursing staff in terms of medication errors, inability in managing patients’ falls and decreased quality of care due to ageing and health impairment reported by the nursing professionals.
The entire evaluation process executed throughout the study explores the potential challenges affecting the productivity and quality of the rendered services by the registered nurse professionals. Furthermore, the study intends to identify necessary mitigation strategies warranted in context to the age and health related variations among the nurses for increasing the overall efficiency in terms of clinical decision-making and quality of patients care rendered by the nursing fraternity. Indeed, the literature review presented at the beginning of the study report discusses the influence of nature of work, shift schedule, perceptions regarding age and attitude, life style differences and temperamental variations on the productivity and quality of services rendered by the nurses pertaining to various age groups. Although the research study by Letvak et al (2013) recommends the allocation of complex rather than physically challenging assignments to the nurses among older age groups, the clinical literature advocates the competency of nursing professionals in terms of their critical thinking ability rather than core physical adaptability (Malloch & Grady, 2010, p. 63). This finding indicates the rational and goal oriented approaches requiring effective implementation by the nursing fraternity to ascertain qualitative deliverables in the clinical setting.
The intent of the research study follows the contention of lack of definitive approaches in identifying the gaps in quality of care rendered by the nursing professionals. Indeed, the quality of care provided by the nursing fraternity facilitates patients’ timely recovery from the morbidities and assists them in regaining health and wellness within the stipulated time. The analysis of factors affecting the competency of nurses helps the medical professionals in proactively devising mitigation strategies for improving the productive capacity and quality of care by nurses for proportionately reducing the disease burden among the patients population.
The study design adopted by the researchers for analysing self-reported health patterns and productive capacity of nurses included cross sectional approaches through mailed survey for obtaining nurses responses in context to the study questions. The responses meeting the inclusion criteria considered for analysis with the overall response rate of 47% by the nursing professionals.
The cross sectional study utilizes health questionnaire in evaluating the psychosocial health in terms of identifying depression episodes among the nursing professionals enrolled in the research analysis. The study findings reveal no significant differences attributing to the depression episodes among the younger vs. older nursing professionals. However, significant statistical variations observed in terms of the patterns of mental well-being between younger and older nurses as evident by the p-score findings obtained during the study. Indeed, the mental conflicts arising among the qualified nursing professionals prove to be the major source of demoralization resulting in job stress and proportionate deterioration in performance in the clinical setting (Burton, 2010, p. 184). The enhanced mental status values of the aged nurses therefore, indicate their greater potential in terms of better analytical and critical thinking capacity in context to delivering qualitative services according to the domain expertise. Indeed, the statistical findings from the research study attained through SPSS utility analysed the responses from 91% female nursing professionals (including 85% white and 73% married individuals). The study utilized couple of weeks’ tenure in collecting the data from the subjects through mailing the survey questionnaires in the single attempt. The data analyzed by sampling the variables through t-test for evaluation of p-scores from the mean values and standard deviations in accordance with the study parameters. Indeed, the sampling of the study subjects performed as per the predefined inclusion criteria warranting the consideration of nursing professionals working in any clinical setting. However, the responses from the retired nurses excluded from the study, as they did not qualify the inclusion parameters prescribed in context to the research design. The study responses saved in the SPSS database and analysis of nurses’ productivity and quality of care variations under the influence of demographic, health and workplace variables performed with the calculation of P values for evaluating the patterns of productivity loss, presenteeism and absenteeism among the nursing professionals under the influence of the prescribed variables.
The study findings further reveal statistically significant differences between body mass indices (BMI), total weekly working hours and reduced hours in context to the vaccination schedule, annual salaries, and loss of productive capacity due to health issues, quantity of health related challenges, pain scores and patients falls among the young and old registered nursing professionals. The Nurses’ Health Study conducted by Hu et al (cited in Mantzoros, 2006, pp. 29-30) reveals the high predisposition of diabetes among the individuals with abnormal BMI scores. The age related enhancement of BMI values predisposes the aged nurses toward developing metabolic manifestations, thereby resulting in reduced functional capacity and deliverables as compared to the younger nursing professionals. The evidence based literature advocates the contention regarding the impact of extended working hours on the health and productive capacity of the nursing professionals (Arezes & Carvalho, 2014, p. 72). Indeed, the demand vs. supply mismatch in nursing profession results in acute shortage of qualified nurses leading to increased workload on the experienced and skilful nurses resulting in mechanical, biological, chemical, physical and psychological morbidities adversely influencing the productive capacity and quality of patients care rendered by the nursing professionals. Guzik (2013) advocates the contention of presenteeism in terms of reduction in productive capacity under the influence of health related challenges. Indeed, the health conflicts adversely influence the probability of errors, creativity, executive efficiency, task time and attention span, temperamental and interpersonal stability of the nursing professionals.
Indeed, the findings of the research study reveal the adverse influence of ageing and morbidities on the productive capacity and quality of care rendered by the nursing professionals. However, the precise statistical calculations determining the exact percentage of production loss and deterioration in quality of care yet not revealed by the outcomes of the research study. The findings of the study reveal the new information in context to the 12% increase in cases of morbidities among the aged nurses as compared to the younger professionals. These findings advocate the contention of higher performance losses among the aged nurses due to the increased prevalence of health challenges and pain scores despite their mental stability, subject knowledge and experience in the nursing profession.
The findings of the study further conclude that health challenges potentially influence the physical efficiency of the nursing professionals working across various clinical specialties. The study is limited due to the smaller sample size and evaluation of subjects pertaining to single geographical confinement, thereby warranting the need to conduct similar studies with comparatively extended sample size in context to multiple locations across the globe. Furthermore, the evaluation of type and etiology of disease conditions among older nurses as compared to the health challenges experienced by younger nurses also warrant conducting further clinical studies in controlled environment for statistically affirming the variability in work efficiency under the influence of morbidities and age progression among the skilled nursing taskforce. Indeed, the execution of research studies with greater sample size will assist in analyzing the core influential factors affecting the productive capacity and quality of care rendered by the nursing fraternity. The findings from these prospective studies will assist in devising proactive approaches for developing effective healthcare modalities and strategies in enhancing the quality of life of nursing professionals for proportionately increasing deliverables in terms of acquiring greater productive capacity under their domain expertise.
Arezes, P., & Carvalho, P. (2014). Advances in Safety Management and Human Factors. USA: AHFE Conference.
Burton, V. (2010). Depression - A Nurse's Experience: Shadows of Life. United Kingdom: Radcliffe.
Guzik, A. (2013). Essentials for Occupational Health Nursing. USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Malloch, K., & Porter-O’Grady, T. (2010). Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing and Health Care. Sudburry, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Mantzoros, C. (2006). Obesity and Diabetes. Totowa, New Jersey: Humana.
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