Nursing productivity has been studied for years, but no current tools capture the cognitive workload of nursing care. Connor and colleagues developed the Complexity Assessment and Monitoring to Ensure Optimal Outcomes (CAMEO) tool to include the multiple dimensions of pediatric critical care nursing in quantifying nursing workload and resource allocation. After using the CAMEO with 75 pediatric cardiac intensive care unit patients, they found the following:

  • Fourteen domains of care adequately represented direct and indirect cognitive processes associated with nursing care.

  • Five classification groups supported interpretation of the tool’s complexity rating scores, with 80% of the sample in class III or IV.

The CAMEO can be used to inform staffing needs, but more importantly, it considers cognitive workload and can offer guidance for staff synergy, educational innovations in theory, and clinical skills necessary for increasingly complex patient care.

—Rhonda Board, rn,...

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