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HEARD ON THE BEAT / HEALTH

Nurses Voice Patient-Care Concerns

December 10, 1996|BARBARA MARSH

California--the land of managed health care--fared poorly in a recent nationwide survey of nurses on patient care.

The survey of more than 7,000 registered nurses nationwide found that those in California reported their greatest concerns over declines in continuity of care and increases in patient and family complaints. Results were published in last month's issue of the American Journal of Nursing.

The researcher, Judith Shindul-Rothschild, a Boston College nursing professor, said pressures from managed care on nurses to handle more patients are especially acute in California. She noted that while 55% of nurses nationally reported increases in patient complaints, surprisingly, all of the California nurses specializing in subacute care did so.

In other specialties, 70% of the California nurses in medical-surgical wards, 69% of those in emergency rooms and 64% in pediatric wards noted increases--all levels exceeding their peers elsewhere.

Similarly, while 55% of nurses nationwide generally expressed concerns over declining continuity of care, 72% of those in California emergency rooms, 70% in psychiatric wards and 69% in ambulatory care reported declines.

*

Barbara Marsh covers health care for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-7762 and at barbara.marsh@latimes.com

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