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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The role of nursing inservice educators in acute care general hospitals in southwestern British Columbia Bass, Andrea


The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe actual and ideal activity profiles of inservice educators in hospitals, establishing time and frequency for each activity. The study also examined some socioeconomic factors that described the population in relation to activity time and frequency scores. The factors included characteristics of the educators and their job settings. The instrument developed for data collection was assessed by a panel of judges with expertise in health and education and then revised. Twenty-four inservice educators employed in acute care general hospitals of varying size in Greater Vancouver and Victoria were surveyed using the revised interview schedule. The data was analyzed and described using appropriate computer programs, non-parametric tests and other calculations. Socioeconomic data obtained described the population in terms of age, marital status and educational involvement. Most respondents were single and without dependents. Most had some formal training beyond a nursing diploma, many had a Bachelor's degree, and they were actively involved in their own continuing education. The actual activity profile for the group showed that instructional activities claimed the most hours in the educators' present jobs. Supervision took up the next highest number of hours, with program planning, miscellaneous and policy decision making activities ranking third to fifth. The ideal activity profile differed from the actual. Respondents wanted to spend the most amount of time in program planning activities, followed by instruction, supervision, policy decision making and miscellaneous activities. Comparison of actual and ideal profiles suggested that the educators felt some measure of dissatisfaction with their present activities. They wanted to spend a substantially greater number of hours per year involved in program planning than was possible under present circumstances. Conversely, they wanted a reduction of involvement in all other categories of activity. Socioeconomic data such as age, hospital size, amount of time employed in present job, and in involvement in continuing education were tested for correlation with activity scores. No strong relationships were found, although there were a few statistically significant correlations. Difficulties presented by the data, such broad ranges of responses and noticeable differences in mode and mean response, made it necessary to state conclusions in the study as suggestive rather than definitive. Nevertheless, it was felt that actual and ideal profiles could be at least indicated and then used as a starting point for more definitive studies of nursing inservice educators. It was pointed out that steps could be taken to clarify the inservice educator's role through standard job description and elimination of non-educational activities.

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