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Study on workload of public health nurses and other women health workers

Kannan, Srinivasan and Sarma, Sankara P (2012): Study on workload of public health nurses and other women health workers. Forthcoming in:

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Introduction. The study aims to gather information on level of work load among the women public health workers and factors associated with this in five districts of Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Malappuram and Wayanad). In the recent past, the occupational hazards of the nurses become a topic of interest. An increasing number of nurses are suffering back injuries on the job from lifting and moving patients. An Australia study found work and age related factors increase difficulties lead to perceived workload(Fragar and Depczynski 2011). Philibin et.al. study in Ireland on public health nurses’ role in changing society emphasized the need for defining and redesigning their role for better community service. Methodology:Primary data collection among the public health nurses (including staff nurses from CHCs) was done among 1238 respondents. In addition, Time and work study in selected work places (PHCs and SCs) and Qualitative studies also been done from the field area. The respondents include, Junior Public Health Nurses (JPHN), Junior Health Inspector (JHI), Staff nurses, Lady Health Inspectors (JHI) and Lady Health Supervisors (LHS). Findings: The workload had three important components, role overload, role stagnation and role distance. The prevalence of role overload among the public health nurses was 75.26%(95% CI*: 72.78, 77.59). While the prevalence of role stagnation was 55.62%(95% CI*: 52.84,58.37) and the prevalence of self role distance was 12.04% (95% CI*: 10.34,13.97). The role stagnation decreases with age (Chisquare test for trend p=0.004). The Role over load is higher among women and the role stagnation and self role distance are higher among men. There is an increasing workload for those who disagree that the training helped in upgrading skills and knowledge. Conclusion: The workload of the public health nurses is related to their, salary, doing additional duties such as managing funds, attending meetings, maintaining records and so on. All these affect their routine health delivery such as immunisation, special clinics, Mother and Child care, Adolescent care, communicable and non-communicable disease control and sanitation.

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