Connecting nurses when someone requires extra help


Burnout is a big health issue in the Netherlands, leading to a shortened lifespan and higher healthcare costs of more than a quarter-million people each year (RIVM, 2016). A group of people that experience a high level of burnout and burnout related complaints is healthcare professionals. The consequences of burnout in healthcare can be illustrated by the fact that staff shortages have almost doubled in 2017. An important reason for a relatively high outflow in healthcare is a high workload (Visser, 2017). Next to that, a study by SPRiNG shows that 45% of all nurses and caregivers fail to complete their education, while approximately 14% of the graduates are no longer working in healthcare two years after graduation (Bakker, Kox & Roelofs, 2016).

To get a better understanding of stress and burnout in the healthcare sector, multiple interviews, and a shadow study was held. The research showed that stress is a precursor to a burnout, which directed the project towards designing a solution for stressful situations that healthcare professional's experience, which includes the fact that they often have trouble asking for- and finding help effectively.

A design was made to easily connect colleagues for when someone required extra help with a certain task. The design aims to do this with the help of a wireless Arduino compatible board, a button and an RGB led in a 3D printed enclosure. To ask for help, a healthcare professional pushes a button, which makes the light of the remotes of others light up, so they can respond by pressing the button.

A concept pitch and subsequent interviews, including a video of the envisioned concept, showed a positive response which partially validates the design decisions that shaped the design. Finally, considerations for future iterations are discussed.

Future work consists of making the location tracking work, in hardware and software, which will also mean that the display, in combination with RFID should be able to represent names and locations. When this is done, a more realistic user test could be set up. This user test will give insight into further challenges, like manufacturing and scaling the concept.


Development business opportunity

Collaborating with potential stakeholders

Concept development

User interaction design

Shadow study

Interviewing stakeholders

Shadow study

Ideation - Connecting colleagues

Concept - Name tag that easily connect colleagues

HelpMote, a name tag that easily connect colleagues

Exploded view HelpMote

Final design HelpMote

Final design HelpMote

Interviewing stakeholders with concept video


Bakker, A. B., Demerouti, E., Taris, T. W., Schaufeli, W. B., & Schreurs, P. J. (2003). A multigroup analysis of the job demands-resources model in four home care organizations. International Journal of stress management, 10(1), 16.

RIVM (2015). Overspannenheid en burnout | Cijfers & Context | Huidige situatie | Retrieved 10-12-2017 from ttps://

Visser, R. O. (2017, November 23). Personeelstekort in de zorg is in een jaar tijd bijna verdubbeld. Retrieved 07-01-2018 from

© 2020 Jesper van Bentum