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Researchers look at how nurses' workplace satisfaction influences patient safety

Employers should prefer 'supportive working conditions' over 'carrot and stick'

Nursing ManagementThe amount of satisfaction nurses have in their workplace could influence their performance at work and their care of patients, a group of European academics have warned.

In this month’s issue of Nursing Management, Kristi Toode et al report the findings from a cross-sectional survey of 201 hospital nurses in Estonia that aimed to determine their perceptions of workplace characteristics, working conditions, work motivation and patient safety. The academics – based in Estonia and Finland – explored the relationship between these factors.

They found that nurses who experienced more engagement and empowerment in their unit had more self-reported events relating to patient safety a year.

The authors concluded that perceptions of personal control over their work can affect nurses’ motivation, therefore suggesting that work satisfaction may be relevant to patient safety improvement work.

The authors say that to retain nurses’ motivation and improve patient safety outcomes, the ‘carrot and stick’ approach should be discarded in favour of creating empowering workplaces and supportive working conditions.

'Greater effort should be made to develop interprofessional respect and mutual support between healthcare team members, and in particular nurses' freedom to raise concerns about patients care or safety must be encouraged,' they add.

'If managers can improve how nurses perceive the whole work process, from its characteristics and conditions to final patient utcomes, they may also be able to improve work outcomes as well.'

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Hospital nurses’ working conditions in relation to motivation and patient safety.

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