Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-27-1960


The purposes of the study were: (1) to determine if practical nurses were performing the functions of patient teaching and ward administration in four selected Kansas hospitals, and (2) to determine the frequency of performance of these functions by the practical nurses. The research method used was descriptive-survey with a closed-response questionnaire as the data-gathering technique. Questions related to twenty-one patient teaching activities and thirty-three ward administrative activities, identified from the review of literature, were included in the questionnaire. Data consisted of questionnaire responses from ninety-eight practical nurses. The findings were: (l) 80 per cent of both ward administrative and patient teaching activities had been performed, either frequently or occasionally, by the majority of the ninety-eight respondents, and (2) the remaining activities had been performed by only a small minority of respondents. The mean percentages and the ranges by per cent of all respondents performing the activities under investigation, by frequency of performance categories, were: (1) patient teaching activities—frequently performed, mean 26, range U-68; occasionally performed, mean 44, range 13-65; never performed, mean 29, range 2-77; frequency of performance not indicated, 1 per cent; (2) ward administrative activities— frequently performed, mean 33, range 1-91; occasionally performed, mean Hi, range 8-72; never performed, mean 2U, range 0-88; frequency of performance not indicated, 2 per cent. Conclusions of the study were: (1) that the majority of the ninety-eight practical nurse respondents were performing patient teaching and ward administrative functions, and (2) that no reliable estimate could be made as to how frequently these practical nurses performed the functions. The frequency of performance varied widely from activity to activity and appeared to depend entirely upon the nature of specific activities.