For patients admitted to the intensive care unit in a hospital in Finland, increased workload for nurses and understaffing of nurses were linked with a higher likelihood that patients would experience multiple organ failure. The findings are published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
The levels of nursing workload and understaffing were at their worst on weekends.
The results emphasize the need to ensure that intensive care units are adequately staffed based on patient needs.
"The burden for critical care services has risen exponentially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The consequences of increased nursing workload during COVID-19 remains uncertain and need to be investigated in this light," said corresponding author Miia Jansson, PhD, MHSc, RN, of the University of Oulu, in Finland.