Date of Award

Spring 1992

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Weis, Darlene

Second Advisor

Wake, Madeline

Third Advisor

Krause, Carolyn

Abstract

This descriptive study explores the role of patient acuity in assignment decision making. A total of 37 supervisors completed a questionnaire designed to identify the importance of acuity in assignment decision making. The acuity totals of 1403 actual patient assignments were analyzed for workload equity. The study showed that patient acuity was ranked as one of the five most important factors by 89% of the respondents. The mean rank score of acuity was 1.89. Analysis of variance yielded significant overall differences in acuity totals (f= 71.48 p( .0000). Patient acuity, the only variable measured in the study, accounted for only 12% of the total variance of actual assignments. The study indicates that while patient acuity is cognitively valued by supervisors, a variety of factors are processed in decisions regarding workload distribution.

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