Work Factors Affecting Hospital Nurses' Safety Organizing Behaviors in Taiwan

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hui Ying Chiang, PhD
Nursing Department, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan
Ya Ling Chen
Nursing, Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao-Kang Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Shu Yuan Lin, PhD
Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, College of Nursing, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand work environment factors contributing to behavioral safety culture among clinical nurses.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to know patient safety issues in different countries.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe the predictive relationships between nurses’ safety organizing behaviors (SOBs) and their work environment factors. Culture of patient safety could be demonstrated by front-line nurses’ behaviors. However, characteristics of nursing work environment impact nurses to practice those behaviors which have been recognized as ongoing processes of error management, learning from errors, and sharing information of patient safety events.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey with self-administered questionnaires was applied. Behavioral safety culture (1 = never to 7= always), safety climate, work stress, and factors of nursing practice environment were measured. A total of 519 nurses from four hospitals were completed surveys using convenience sampling in 2007.

Results: The subject mean age was 30.83 (SD=6.4) and 48% of them (n=249) had baccalaureate degrees. The average tenure of current job was 6.15 years (SD=5.4). The average item-score of behavioral safety culture was 4.89 (SD=0.91). The nurses agreed that the frequency of practicing (SOBs) were between fairly often and often. The multiple regression model of safety organizing behavior (adjusted R2 = 0.30) included safety climate (β= 0.48, P < 0.01), tenure of current job (β= 0.09, P < 0.05), and two work factors: nursing professional development (β= 0.16, P < 0.01) and staffing-resource (β= -0.12, P < 0.01). Work stress (r = -0.09, P < 0.05) and three work factors of leadership-management, nursing quality, participating hospital affairs (rs ranged from 0.36 to 0.11, P < 0.05) were significantly correlated with the behavior but they were not selected into the regression model.

Conclusions: This is an empirical study of patient safety practices targeting clinical nurses in Taiwan. The study results support the concerns that positive nursing work environments could foster safety organizing behaviors of nurses resulting in patient safety improvement.