Functional Nursing

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Functional Nursing
❑ Functional nursing divides nursing work into functional units that are then assigned to one of the team members. In this model, each care provider is responsible for specific duties or tasks.

❑ Advantages
• Care can be delivered to a large number of patients • Uses other types of health care workers when there is a shortage of RNs  ❑ Disadvantages
• Lack of continuity of care
• Patient may feel that care is disjointed
Functional Nursing
It is a task-oriented method wherein a particular nursing function is assigned to each staff member. The medication nurse, treatment nurse and bedside nurse are all products of this system. For efficiency, nursing was essentially divided into tasks, a model that proved very beneficial when staffing was poor. The key idea was for nurses to be assigned to tasks, not to patients. Advantages:

• A very efficient way to delivery care.
• Could accomplish a lot of tasks in a small amount of time • Staff members do only what they are capable of doing • Least costly as fewer RNs are required
• Care of patients become fragmented and depersonalized • Patients do not have one identifiable nurse
• Very narrow scope of practice for RNs
• Leads to patient and nurse dissatisfaction

It is a care model that uses the division of labor according to specific task and technical aspects of the job. It has been defined as work assignment by functions or tasks, such as passing medicines, doing dressing changes, giving baths, or taking vital signs. Under functional nursing, the nurse identifies the tasks to be done for a shift. The work is divided and assigned to personnel, who focus on completing the assigned task. Functional nursing has the advantage of being efficient for taking care of the tasks related to handing a large number of clients. Functional nursing was the norm in US hospitals from the late 1800s...
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