Clinical concerns

Giving nurses more control over their schedules could lower pressure ulcer rates

Nursing homes might be able to cut their pressure ulcer rates by giving nurses more control over when they work, according to findings published online in the Journal of Applied Gerontology.

Facilities that gave nurses more say in their work hours had a lower prevalence of pressure ulcers, independent of staff mix, staffing ratios, job satisfaction and turnover intentions.

The study involved 30 nursing homes in New England, and the nurses self-reported their scheduling control via a survey in 2011 and 2012. The outcomes data was gleaned from 2012 Medicare records. The investigators were affiliated with the Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and Pennsylvania State University.

More research is needed to identify why greater schedule control appears to enhance the planning and delivery of strategies to prevent or cure pressure ulcers.