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Table 1 Task and information tool definitions

From: How much time do nurses have for patients? a longitudinal study quantifying hospital nurses' patterns of task time distribution and interactions with health professionals

Work Task Definition
Direct Care Tasks directly involved with patient care, eg direct communication with patient &/or family, bathing, applying dressings, nursing procedures etc.
Indirect Care All tasks indirectly related to patient care, eg reviewing results, planning care, washing hands, reviewing documentation, returning equipment
Medication Tasks All tasks associated with medication, includes preparation, administration, documentation, discussion & clarification
Documentation Documentation (paper and electronic), excludes medication documentation
Professional Communication All non-medication related communication with another health professional includes ward & patient handover. Excludes medication related discussion communication
Ward Related Activities Ward activities, includes coordinating beds & staffing
In Transit Time between tasks and between patients. Excludes movement between patients in a shared room and movement within a single room
Supervision Supervising others, including students
Social All non work communication, eg meal/tea breaks, personal calls
Other Any other task not included above
Information Tools Used  
Permanent Record Tasks involving the writing/reading of information in a patient's permanent paper medical record, including: progress notes, request forms, medication chart, observation chart, nursing care plans
Paper Tasks involving writing on temporary paper notes, eg bedlist, handover sheet, little notebook
Desktop Personal Computer (PC) Tasks involving the use of a computer for information searching, retrieval and documentation
Phone Tasks involving using the telephone