A Study of Workspace Design Characteristics Exemplified by Nurses' Satisfaction Within Three Intensive Care Units in a University Hospital

HERD. 2022 Apr;15(2):63-78. doi: 10.1177/19375867211055731. Epub 2021 Nov 10.


Background: The critical conditions of intensive care patients require providing them with a higher acuity of care. Thus, it is essential to focus on critical care nurses and improve their work environment in a way that maximizes productivity, collaboration, satisfaction, and leads to improved patient care.

Purpose: This study aims to explore the role the workplace layout design play in determining nurses' satisfaction in three intensive care units (ICUs) at a university hospital.

Method: A prospective, cross-sectional, single-center, survey-based design was employed in this study. Data were obtained, via a standardized questionnaire, from 36 morning shift nurses. The nurses' self-reported satisfaction scores in three different ICUs with differing overall layouts, nursing station locations, and workplace design were statistically compared.

Results: The study found that ICU 1 (private rooms, single corridor, central nursing station, close to supported services) had higher nursing satisfaction levels than ICUs 2 and 3 (open wards with separate service zones), F(2,34) = 5.054, p = .012. However, overall satisfaction was higher with the ICU 2 primary workspace design, possibly due to the perceived acoustic privacy in this configuration, F(2,34)= 4.492, p = .019. The ability of the ICU layout design to enhance teamwork and minimize traffic in patients care areas was found to be an important predictor of nurses' satisfaction. The primary workspace design capacity to minimize congestion and the presence of large numbers of providers in a confined workplace might account for variation in nurses' satisfaction.

Conclusion: Physical environment variables in the ICU design may contribute to staff workplace satisfaction scores and may help in guiding informed choices regarding the future ICU design.

Keywords: Jordan; environment design; hospitals; intensive care units; nurses satisfaction; surveys and questionnaires.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Nurses*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital*
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires