A Survey of Asian Nurses Perception of their Work Environment

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Karen S. Cox, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN
Patient Care Services, Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Kansas City, MO
Susan R. Lacey, PhD, RN, FAAN
Patient Care Services, Children's Mercy Hospitals & Clinics, Kansas City, MO
Patricia R. Messmer, PhD, RN, BC, FAAN
Patient Care Services Research, Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Kansas City, MO
Susan L. Teasley, RN, CCRC
Patient Care Services, Children's Mercy Hospitals & Clinics, Kansas City, MO
Tomomi Kameoka, RN, DNSc
Nursing Education, National College of Nursing Japan, Kiyose, Tokyo, Japan
Meiqiong Yan, RN, MSN
Shanghai Medical University, Zhong Shan Hospital, Shanghai, China
Lin Yan, RN, MS
Nursing Department, Guangzhou Children's Hospital, Guangzhou, China
Misuzu F. Gregg, PhD, RN
Department of Nursing, Kobe City College of Nursing, Kobe, Japan

Learning Objective 1: To discuss the Individual Work Perception Scale (IWPS)as completed by Asian and USA nurses.

Learning Objective 2: To discuss the cultural context of the survey items in both Asian and USA countries

Background: ICN emphasizes the need to have positive practice environment globally. Over  8,000 nurse respondents (6+ years; 15 states) have completed The Individual Workload Perception Scale-Revised (IWPS-R)  .
Framework: King’s (1981) Concept of Perception- one’s perception-related to self concept, inheritance, educational background & socioeconomic group.
Methodology: The IWPS-R, with 29 Likert-type items, includes Manager, Peer, Unit Support, Workload, Intent to Stay and Nurse Satisfaction subscales with alphas coefficients .61-.91. The purpose was to determine if there were any differences in nurses’ perception in Asian hospitals compared to USA hospitals. IWPS-R was translated/ back translated into Chinese and Japanese.
Results:  In addition to the differences between the U.S. and Asian nurses, a issue of cultural context of the survey items emerged. Major themes related to these issues were: socio-political, organizational structural, and expectations of both patients and nurses in each respective country. Female nurses dominate in all countries. Several IPWS questions indicated that there were cultural differences between the US and Asian Countries. The Asian nurse manager is assigned to only one unit whereas a US nurse manager may have multiple units. Asian nurses have lifetime employment in the hospitals and do not make arrangements for families to have transportation or housing; the patients go to the hospital in their region. Asian nurses do not “float”; working with less staff if they are “short”.

Discussion: Nurses in all countries have longevity, aging workforce and few male nurses. Conclusions: This research exchange created a new level of discussion about future collaborations that reflects a deeper understanding surrounding the context of cross-cultural projects. US nurses learn how to creatively include families at the bedside while US nurses mentor Asian nurses on strategies to enhance peer support and nurse satisfaction.
Recommendations: Continue the collaboration for education & research and evaluate cultural and contextual differences.