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Open Access Article

Healthcare Team Members' Perception of Staffing Adequacy in a Comprehensive Cancer Center

Beverly A. Nelson

staff development, clinical practice
ONF 2010, 38(1), 52-59. DOI: 10.1188/11.ONF.52-59

Purpose/Objectives: To describe the perceptions of staffing adequacy of healthcare team members working together on units in a comprehensive cancer center.

Research Approach: A descriptive, phenomenologic design was used. Semistructured interviews were conducted with participants.

Setting: An urban, Magnet®-designated comprehensive cancer center in the southwestern United States.

Participants: A purposive sample of 10 RNs, 5 nursing assistants, and 5 associate directors.

Methodologic Approach: Data analysis was guided by Streubert's procedural interpretation of the phenomenologic method.

Findings: Themes emerged, including alterations to care; challenges to an already challenging shift; the right mix; effects on patients, safety, and quality; mitigating factors; and the aftermath.

Conclusions: Perceived inadequate staffing affects healthcare staff both personally and professionally, triggering responses that influence approaches to patient care, unit operations, and relationships.

Interpretation: The unique and sometimes varied perspectives and experiences of frontline staff are critical to understanding factors that influence and affect willingness to work and remain in hospital settings, and may serve as a basis for shaping interventions and strategies to ensure adequate numbers of caregivers at the bedside.

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