Hospital organizations are complex entities endeavoring to function within the constraints of budget restrictions, waning reimbursement, staffing issues, and declining patient outcomes. As the largest user of in-patient services, elderly patients often succumb the complexity of the hospital system when they are discharged at a lesser functional level than when they were admitted. The root cause of the functional decline of the elderly is multifaceted with a shared responsibility between hospital administration, staff, and the elderly patient. This dissertation explored, specifically, the relationship between registered nurses and their elderly patients to determine nurses’ awareness to the functional needs of their elderly patients and the nurses’ ability to attend to these needs within the scope of their daily responsibilities. Additionally, investigated were specific demographics of age and years in the nursing profession with each questionnaire’s mean. Two questionnaires were used to solicit responses from a sample population of 1,000 registered nurses residing within six counties in Central Pennsylvania. The response rate yield was 27% (N = 160). Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2009), 60% of registered nurses are employed in hospitals. Therefore, the list of 1,000 registered nurses was queried to generate a sub list of nurses who met the inclusion criteria of having worked with elderly patients within the past year in a hospital environment. Five hypotheses were tested. Results indicated a poor correlation between nurses’ awareness to the needs of their elderly patients with the phenomenon of complexity compression™. However, a slight correlation was noted between the phenomenon of complexity compression and age of registered nurses and also their years in the nursing profession. Significant to note, was that both questionnaires scored high individually indicating that nurses are aware of the factors contributing the functional maintenance of their elderly patients and experience a high agreement with complexity compression.
|Advisor:||Coxon, Valerie J.|
|Commitee:||Bammel, Karen, Madras, Diane|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Gerontology, Medical Ethics, Nursing|
|Keywords:||Complexity compression, Elderly patients, Functional needs, Hospitalizations|
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