Human Resources for Health published a study on task shifting for nurses as a strategy to address issues of heavy workloads, insufficient staffing and regular emergencies which compromise the ability of nurses to provide quality care. The study looks at the nature and practice of neonatal nursing in three newborn units in three public hospitals in Nairobi county, Kenya, so as to determine what prospect there might be for relieving pressure by shifting nurses’ work to others.
It finds that nurses have developed a ritualized schedule and a form of ‘subconscious triage’ to cope with difficult work conditions characterized by resource challenges and competing priorities. The study concludes that this organic form of task shifting could inform more formal task-shifting projects as a way to support and work with busy nurses.
Photo: A Senior Nurse Officer assists Linnet Daniel to breastfeed her newborn baby in a postnatal ward at Mukuru Health Centre, Kenya, in September 2016. ©UNICEF/Noorani.