Background: While the relationship between staff nurse workload and patient outcomes is well documented, there is little research on Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) perceived workload and the relationship to patient outcomes. The relationship between workload and patient outcomes has been well documented in staff nurses. To gain a better understanding of the domains which comprise CRNA workload, and in order to measure important relationships workload and patient outcomes in the future, it is necessary to develop a workload instrument.
Aim: The specific aim of this study was to develop an instrument that accurately measures CRNA perceived workload, based on two workload perception instruments which have been previously validated in nonCRNA staff nurses.
Methods: This was a two-phase exploratory sequential mixed methods study. Phase 1 included expert review of existing workload instruments. Phase 2 consisted of CRNA focus groups reviewing tool developed from Phase 1. Participants completed preliminary workload tool, discussed whether the new tool accurately captured perceived workload for CRNAs, and determined whether any aspects of perceived workload were missing from tool. Focus group data were audiotaped, transcribed and the
results were analyzed by the research team using NVIVO software.
Result: A new 12-item CRNA Workload Perception instrument was developed.
Conclusion: It is imperative for departments of nursing and peri-anesthesia management to understand CRNA perceived workload as it relates to practice implications, financial attributes and educational efforts which promote safe anesthesia care in the perioperative area. The next step is to perform comprehensive psychometric testing of new instrument with a large sample of CRNAs.