Nurses’ perceptions of hazards to patient safety in the intensive care units during a nursing staff shortage

Sheuwen Chuang, Laura M.D. Maguire, Shu-Tai Hsiao, Yun-Hsien Ho, Su-Fen Tsai


Objective: Nursing shortage in acute care had shown a negative impact on patient safety and nurses. This study determines nurses’ perceptions of hazards affecting patient safety in the intensive care units (ICUs) of a private regional hospital.

Methods: An initial focus group was used to explore nurses’ sense of, and experiences with, hazards affecting patient safety in daily care. This data aided in developing a structured questionnaire to survey ICU nurses. Nonparametric test and t test were applied for inference analysis.

Results: Response rate was 78% with average age of respondents 28. Sixty-three hazards were identified and segmented into four domains. Hazards in the Team/Communication domain were the highest risks commonly perceived by all ICU nurses. Less-experienced nurses were more concerned about unfamiliar procedures/equipment and unexpected conditions from both Administration/Maintenance and Patients/Family domains than senior nurses.

Conclusions: The study highlights the complexity of nursing care and hidden nursing management issues, as well as suggests that nurses’ perceptions of hazards to patient care could help understand important difference between nursing staff to more specifically address variations to improve the situation.

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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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