Barriers to clinical decision-making in nurses in Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2004, 21 (3), pp. 8 - 13
Issue Date:
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Research aims: The aim of this study was to examine whether nurses in Australia participated in clinical decision-making to the extent they desired. Some factors that could be inhibiting or promoting participation in clinical decision-making, namely educational level, occupational orientation (role values), level of appointment and area of practice (medical/surgical) were also examined. Method: A quantitative, correlational study examined the relationship between nurses' occupational orientation, educational level, area of specialty and decision-making. T-tests were used to identify significant differences between the decision-making nurses say they have and that which they say they want. Major findings: Nurses holding a professional role value participated more in clinical decision making than those holding a paramedical role value. Nurses practising in surgical areas participated less in decision-making than those in medical areas. While a higher educational level was not associated with greater participation in clinical decision-making, it was linked to wanting more participation in this process. Conclusion: Important issues arising from the study need to be addressed. Nurses who are better educated are not making decisions to the extent to which they aspire. Surgical nurses participated less in decision-making than medical nurses and holding professional values can lead to greater decision-making participation.
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