Direct and indirect nursing care time in an intensive care unit

Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. Jan-Feb 2014;22(1):150-7. doi: 10.1590/0104-1169.3032.2381.
[Article in English, Portuguese, Spanish]


Objective: to identify the direct and indirect nursing care time in an Intensive Care Unit.

Method: a descriptive/exploratory study conducted at a private hospital. The Nursing Activities Score classification system was used to estimate the direct care time, and electronic health records were used to estimate the indirect care time. The data were collected from March to June 2011.

Results: the findings indicate that the average nursing care time was 29.5 hours, consisting of 27.4 hours of direct care and 2.1 hours of indirect care per patient/day. The nursing care time was higher on weekends and holidays, with predominant use of electronic medical records at night.

Conclusion: ascertaining nursing care times will contribute to a quantitative evaluation of human resources, assisting in the determination of workloads and workforce size.

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care Nursing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data*