Work Overload in Healthcare System PICOT Question

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Work Overload in Healthcare System PICOT Question



Work Overload in Healthcare System PICOT Question


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Work Overload in Healthcare System PICOT Question


Retention of the healthcare workforce in the healthcare system is a persistent issue, with many vacancies rising in many healthcare organizations, especially for nurses. Nurses are fundamental to strong and robust health systems; however, the existing deficits between demand, supply, and the population need appear to affect the goals of universal health coverage (Nelson, 2017). Understanding the problem/population involved, what is planned to solve the issue, and the alternative solution is key to solving the issue. Therefore, in this paper, a PICOT question addressing the issue of work overload in healthcare will be formulated. It will describe the issue considering evidence-based solutions, nursing intervention, patient care, healthcare agency, and nursing practice.

PICOT Question

Is minimum staff to patient ratio more effective than educating overworked nurses on stress management and encouraging teamwork in reducing nurse burnout, reducing medical errors, increasing nurse retention, and increasing job satisfaction?

P- Overworked nurses.

I – Minimum staff to patient ratio.

C- Educating nurses on stress management and encouraging teamwork.

O- Reduced nurse burnout, reduced medical errors, increased nurse retention, and increased job satisfaction.

Too much work in healthcare systems is a great cause of burnout, increased medical errors, high turnover rates, and job dissatisfaction. Work overload causes emotional exhaustion, individual accomplishment, and depersonalization (Nelson, 2017). It is always due to shortages in nurse staff; thus, the importance of considering minimum nurse to patient ratio to reduce burnout, medical errors, high turnover rates, and job dissatisfaction and its impact on mental, psychological, general nurse productivity, and their emotional health. Optimum staffing is vital to providing quality and safe care and receiving the maximum value from nurses (Alligood, 2016). According to research, better benefits of optimal staffing can be obtained from staffing models, which consider the number of nurses to the number of patients.

Having optimal nurse staffing to patient ratio is important in helping nurses only perform their roles within a certain period, which positively impacts their mental, psychological, emotional, and general productivity (Alligood, 2016). In addition, patients’ safety is increased as the nurses provide quality healthcare. Educating nurses on stress management techniques can reduce burnout, but only when the patient-to-nurse ratio is maintained. Adequate staffing, adequate working hours, performing tasks that only improve patients’ outcome creates a positive work environment for all the healthcare professionals.

The Registered Nurse Staffing and Recruitment Agency can help reduce work overload in healthcare by ensuring every healthcare system has adequate nurse staffing (Nelson, 2017). This can be done by recruiting and employing many nurses. Additionally, this agency can recruit and employ more healthcare professionals who can help maintain interprofessional collaboration that improves patients’ health outcomes and reduces their length of hospital stay. Moreover, healthcare staffing and recruitment agency also recruits and employs nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals making work easier in healthcare systems.


Minimum nurse-to-patient ratio is the best intervention to help reduce the work overload issues in the healthcare system. This is because it allows recruitment of adequate healthcare staff, which improves nursing practice, the general productivity of healthcare providers, patient outcomes, and the healthcare system’s productivity.


Alligood, M. (2016). Minimum Nurse-Patient Ratios. AJN, American Journal of Nursing, 116(9), 13.

Nelson, K. E. (2017). Nurse Manager Perceptions of Work Overload and Strategies to Address It. Nurse Leader, 15(6), 406–408.