The Challenge / Opportunity
In a 2017 survey of Registered Nurses, half of the respondents reported that they had considered leaving the field, and the number one reason for wanting to leave was “feeling overworked.”
In addition to the emotional and physical demands, nurses commonly work for extended periods (12-hour shifts) with limited time for breaks. And on neonatal intensive care units (NICU) the stress can be magnified resulting in high levels of absenteeism, low morale, mental fatigue, and a decreased sense of personal accomplishment.
Who is Affected?
- Hospital Systems
- The User Journey
The User Journey
A typical 12-hour shift that starts at 6:45. At which point the nurse attends huddle to receive their assignment of 1–4 babies. The nurse then receives bedside shift report, and begins reviewing orders and provider notes. After everything has been reviewed the nurse will begin delivering patient care which includes gathering supplies, touch-times (assessment, and feeding), charting, and coordinating care between multiple specialties.
During the rest of the shift, nurses work together to schedule coverage for lunches, obtain assistance with admissions, and make time for bathroom breaks.
Rinse, and repeat 3 to 4 times a week.
Gain Insights Through Empathy
“The doctor threw all the supplies off of the UVC tray, because something was missing.”
“My pod mate sat on her phone while I as drowning with my 1 to 1 patient”
“My team lead disappears for hours and nobody knows where she goes”
“The nursing leadership team never helps, and only shows up when something bad happens”
How Might We Reduce NICU Nurse Burnout to Increase Job Satisfaction?
Hybrid 10’s for the Win
Team Nursing with a Dedicated Admit Nurse
A new scheduling model to decrease workload
- 1st Shift: 7:00 am to 5:00 pm
- 2nd Shift: 2:00 pm to 12:00 pm (Relief Shift)
- 3rd Shift: 9:00 pm to 7:00 am
A dedicated admit nurse who will not be assigned patients, but will be available to support the unit and will assist the 1st admit nurse with new admissions.
Key Testable Assumptions
- The current financial model will be able to support the additional staffing
- The admit nurse will be able to effectively support the 1st admit nurse
- Nurses will be willing to work 10 hour shifts and/or serve in an admit only role
- Charge nurses will have increased bandwidth to mentor and support staff due to the additional resources on the unit
Why Will This Concept Be Successful?
More hands on deck. The updated scheduling model will increase collaboration, improve job satisfaction, and decrease burnout among NICU nurses.
How Could This Concept Fail Miserably?
Lower stress comes at cost. The additional resources will lead to increased overhead that will ultimately be too costly and unsustainable.
One of the things I enjoy most about the design thinking process is collaborating with people from different backgrounds…
➕ What did I miss?
✔️ How would you solve the problem?
✖️ Or is there a larger challenge at the root of this issue?