Table 1

Items included in the call light staff survey questionnaire

Demographic characteristics


1. Gender (1 = Male, 0 = Female)

2. Age in years

3. Highest completed education program (1 = High school or diploma, 2 = Associate degree, 3 = Bachelor's degree, 4 = Master's degree or higher)

4. Type of unit (the unit the participant was working for, as identified by the participant) (1 = Acute medical, 2 = Acute surgical, 3 = Acute medical-surgical combined, 4 = Birthing center, 5 = Step-down medical, 6 = Step-down medical-surgical combined, 7 = Floating)

5. Work title (1 = Staff nurse, including registered nurse and licensed practical nurse, 2 = Nurse aide, nurse technician, or medical assistant, 3 = Unit clerk or administrative assistant, 4 = Psych technician)

6. Primary working shift (1 = Day shift, 2 = Evening shift, 3 = Night shift, 4 = 12-hour day shift, 5 = 12-hour night shift, 6 = Rotating)

7. Years working in acute inpatient care units (in years)


Call light related items


8. Selection of the reasons for patient-initiated call lights and the prevalence of each reason, by percentage. The reasons include:

(1) Extremely urgent medical problem (e.g., like a 911 life-or-death emergency call in the United States) (1 = Yes)

(2) Bathroom, bedside commode, or bedpan assistance (1 = Yes)

(3) Intravenous problems or pump alarm (1 = Yes)

(4) Pain medication and management (1 = Yes)

(5) Repositioning, transfer, or mobility assistance (1 = Yes)

(6) Personal assistance (1 = Yes)

(7) Obtaining information (1 = Yes)

(8) Getting nurses' attention for no specific reason (1 = Yes)

(9) Demanding a nurse's presence or a companion at bedside for no specific reason (1 = Yes)

(10) Accidentally pushed the call light (1 = Yes)

9. Number of patient-initiated calls per hour the individual responds to (number of calls, estimated)

10. Number of patient-initiated calls per hour the individual and team members together respond to (e.g., nurse, nurse aide, nurse technician, or medical assistant) (number of calls, estimated)

11. Average length of time to answer a patient-initiated call light during the day, evening, and night shift, respectively (number of minutes, specified by shift, estimated)

12. Opinion whether most of the call lights pertain to patients' safety during hospital stays? (1 = Yes, 0 = No)

13. Opinion whether most of the call lights require nursing staff's attention and nursing care? (1 = Yes, 0 = No)

14. Opinion whether most of the reasons for call lights are meaningful? (1 = Yes, 0 = No)

15. Opinion whether answering call lights prevents you from doing the critical aspects of your role? (1 = Yes, 0 = No) If yes, why? (an open question, a qualitative variable)

16. Solicitation of opinions identifying matters or issues that have a higher priority than answering patient-initiated call lights (an open question; a qualitative variable)


Tzeng BMC Health Services Research 2010 10:52   doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-52

Open Data