Virtual Sitting a Resource Gain for Nurses
Virtual care adoption is increasing quickly in hospital settings, but do bedside clinicians view it as a positive change? Recent studies show that virtual sitting is a technological advancement that is viewed as a resource gain, not a resource drain. AvaSure, the market leader in acute virtual sitting and virtual nursing solutions, announced the results of a new study published in the Western Journal of Nursing Research in August 2023. The study, An Experience Sampling Analysis of the Impact of Video Monitoring Technology and In-Person Sitters on Nurse Burnout: The Moderating Effect of Nurse Commitment and Mediating Effect of Emotional Labor (Kluemper, et al), supported by Providence and AvaSure, revealed that the use of virtual sitting technology, as opposed to one-to-one sitters, can be tied to reduction in nurse burnout especially for nurses who already feel less committed. Additionally, the study showed in-person sitting was viewed as a resource drain with negative effects on these nurses’ emotional labor and emotional exhaustion.
“Having insightful research into virtual sitting helps us alleviate burnout among our nursing staff and optimize the usage of all our resources to get the right care to the right patient at the right time,” said study co-author Emily Anderson, MSN, RN, PCCN-K, nurse manager at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage, AK. “This study supports our experience that virtual sitting improves the well-being of our nurses and helps maintain patient safety.”
While it is well-established in clinical literature that virtual sitting technology, compared with the use of in-person sitters, improves safety and reduces costs for hospitals, this study sheds light on the technology’s impact on nurses’ stress and well-being. The new study builds on previous research published in the Journal of Nursing Measurement in 2020, which surveyed 412 nurses on their attitudes toward virtual sitting. It demonstrated bedside nurses view virtual sitting as an increased resource to maintain patient safety and did not view one-to-one sitters as a safer alternative.
“This research represents a valuable contribution to the knowledge base on virtual sitting by being the first to demonstrate a reduction in nurse burnout associated with the use of virtual sitting technology,” said Lisbeth Votruba, MSN, RN, chief clinical officer of AvaSure. “As more and more peer-reviewed research on virtual sitting is published, it becomes clearer that nurses view the unproven practice of using one-to-one sitters as a resource drain and virtual sitters are a benefit. Nurses know that pulling valuable nursing assistants to sit with one patient around the clock is wasteful and leaves everyone else shorthanded.”
“While we already know from the existing literature that virtual sitting improves patient safety and saves hospitals critical financial resources, it is important to better understand how virtual sitting impacts nurse well-being,” said Don Kluemper, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and Professor of Management at Texas Tech University. “This new study supports the notion that virtual sitting reduces while one-to-one sitters worsen nurse burnout.”
The study used an experience sampling method and was conducted by surveying nurses twice a day for three weeks, resulting in 524 survey administrations provided by 74 nurses. The surveys included measures of daily video monitoring technology and in-person sitter use, emotional labor, emotional exhaustion, and nurse career commitment. Nurses participated from Providence Medical Center in Anchorage, AK and Providence St. Peter in Olympia, WA.
AvaSure was not involved in the study design, collection, analysis, interpretation of data, writing of the manuscript nor the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Read the full press release from AvaSure.