Ewing Tiong

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management

First Advisor

Dr. Steven Butt

Second Advisor

Dr. Laila Cure

Third Advisor

Dr. Azim Houshyar

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Diana Prieto

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Nursing shortage has been reported as a major problem faced not only by the United States but also by many other countries. One of the many interventions that has been used to curb nursing shortage is the increase in employment of Unlicensed Assistive Personnels (UAPs) as an alternative care delivery model. There are many types of UAP and one of them are Patient Care Assistants (PCAs). This research proposes a methodology to model and analyze the work ow of a PCA in terms of completing assigned tasks in a timely manner. The specific objectives of this research are to model the work ow of a PCA providing inpatient care in a cardiology unit for a single day-shift and analyze the timely completion of assigned tasks in a day-shift. In this study, PCA's tasks are classified as predictable and unpredictable. A Busy Ratio (BR), denied as the ratio of total mean duration of all assigned tasks in a shift against the total expected duration of a shift, was used as a quick indicator of feasibility given a specific patient assignment. Decision trees were also used to assess feasibility. Although the ease of interpretation for both methods are rather similar, the decision tree has better accuracy in predicting infeasibility. Nevertheless, the time needed to develop the decision tree is significantly higher compared to BR.


5th Advisor: Dr. Karen Bergman