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Critical care nurses' perception of their work and workload while taking care of the elderly patient in an Intensive care unit

MOJ Gerontology & Geriatrics
Meiriele Tavares Araujo,1 Caroline Martins Santos,2 Isabela Silva Cancio Velloso1


This qualitative descriptive exploratory case study aimed to investigate the perception of critical care nurses of their work and workload while caring for elderly patients in an intensive care unit. Eight Registered Nurses from an adult intensive care unit in a Brazilian University Hospital were interviewed, and the data collected were analyzed according to the content analysis. The findings show that nurses carry out some activities differently when patients are elderly. Still, they do not score it as additional activities in the Nursing Activities Score used for evaluating their nursing workload. They also recognized that the Nursing Activities Score does not reflect the real-time spend on the care of an elderly patient. This research may be noteworthy to nurses or organizations looking forward to enhancing their health care for elderly patients in critical care and improving the way nursing workload measurements acknowledging elderly patient needs.


elderly care, critical care, nursing workload, intensive care units, nursing, complexity of care