Workshifting – a tool to manage shortage of nurses? A content analysis at a medical ward at a university hospital in Sweden

Tove Nyman, Susanne Trinh, Kristina Rosengren


Background: Workshifting is a new model for redistributing tasks due to the shortage of health professionals such as registered nurses (RNs). Therefore, this study aim to describe registered nurses' experiences with workshifting in a medical ward at a university hospital in Sweden.

Methods: Manifest qualitative content analysis with an inductive approach was used based on seven semi-structured interviews with RNs working in a medical ward at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Results: One category, communication skills for increased cooperation, and three subcategories, Manage different skills, Changed work content and Lack of holistic nursing, were described. A healthy work environment (reasonable workload, interesting work tasks/content) is an important factor for attracting health professionals such as RNs.

Conclusion: Workshifting redistributes tasks to added staff members such as pharmacists and assistant nurses, which decreases the RN workload; however, task-oriented work results in the lack of a holistic view of nursing. Moreover, enlarged teams need well-developed communication arenas to ensure patient safety and efficient work organization.


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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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