SAVE OUR NURSES – A COMMON THEME FROM UKZN PRESENTERS AT INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS IN DURBAN
Keeping nurses at their posts was high on the agenda when academics and students at UKZN’s School of Nursing presented their research at the International Council of Nursing (ICN) Congress held at the ICC in Durban recently.
Lecturer and PhD student, Ms Zethu Nkosi; Senior Lecturer, Dr Petra Brysiewicz, and Masters of Nursing student, Ms Sajida Ramnarain, presented research papers on pertinent issues facing the nursing profession in South Africa.
The event brings together nursing professionals from around the globe annually to discuss developments within the profession.
Ms Nkosi presented an analysis of mechanisms required in South Africa to retain nurses within the public healthcare facilities. Her presentation titled: ‘Analysis of Retention Strategies among Professional Nurses in South Africa,’ is based on her PhD studies which originated out of the exodus overseas of local nurses.
Her PhD studies on: ‘Analysing the relationship between leadership style, organisational factors and retention of professional nurses in public health care facilities in KwaZulu-Natal,’ took into account the experiences of a cohort of 188 nurses.
Although the Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD), offering better salary packages to nurses, was introduced in 2007 as one initiative to stem the flow of nurses leaving the public sector, Ms Nkosi said nurses cited the lack of professional development opportunities, the poor leadership style of managers and excessive workloads due to a shortage of staff as reasons for quitting the public healthcare sector.
Offering a perspective on interventions for families of critically ill patients, Dr Brysiewicz in her paper on: ‘In-hospital Psychosocial Interventions for Families of Critically ill Trauma Patients,’ outlined the four phases of her research which led to the development of an intervention offering support to family members of patients in intensive care units.
Following a critical review of existing programmes in place at hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal and identifying the support needs of the families of trauma patients, Dr Brysiewicz together with healthcare professionals at three hospitals formulated a hospital-based plan.
“Findings were incorporated into the development of the intervention by ensuring that the intervention was culturally aware, encouraged therapeutic communication and ensured the building of rapport,” said Dr Brysiewicz.
Ms Ramnarain’s presentation was based on her research into nurses' perceptions of the leadership style of nurse managers and job satisfaction levels among nurses at State health care facilities.
Ninety-five nurses participating in the study believed that transactional leadership styles were the cause of dissatisfaction among nurses.
“Nurses are dissatisfied with their practice settings; the attitudes of their nurse managers; limited professional growth; the lack of opportunity for advancement and achievement; oppressive organisational hierarchy that hinders autonomy in the practice and the lack of job status and power,” said Ms Ramnarain.