Original Research

Nurses experiences regarding staffing patterns in the surgical wards of a private hospital in Gauteng South Africa

Moloko Malatji, Hafisa Ally, Agnes Makhene
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 22 | a1062 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v22i0.1062 | © 2018 Moloko Malatji, Hafisa Ally, Agnes Makhene | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 January 2018 | Published: 15 December 2017

About the author(s)

Moloko Malatji, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Hafisa Ally, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Agnes Makhene, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Abstract

Background: Staffing patterns refers to the number and types or categories of staff assigned to the particular wards in a hospital. Staffing patterns that accommodate imbalanced patient to nurse ratios can affect nursing staff negatively. The negative experiences increased emotional stress, physical exhaustion, high nurse turnover and consequences of poor patient outcomes. The high patient to nurse ratios and the profitability factor of private hospitals virtually dictates the type of staffing patterns that are used in these wards. As such, the current staffing patterns appear to require nursing staff to work longer shifts as well as overtime work without a choice, the consequences of which are the effects highlighted above.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore and describe nurses' experiences regarding staffing patterns in the surgical wards of a private hospital in Gauteng in order to develop recommendations for staffing patterns in these wards.

Methodology: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual research design was used. Data was collected by means of in-depth semi structured individual interviews from a purposive sample of professional nurses working in the surgical wards of this hospital. Data was analysed using Tesch's method of qualitative thematic analysis. Principles of trustworthiness and ethical principles to ensure the protection of human rights were applied throughout the study.

Results: The findings of the study revealed one central theme which reflected that participants experienced the staffing patterns of the surgical wards negatively. Two main themes emerged as, nurses had negative experiences in the surgical wards as well as negative emotional experiences related to the staffing patterns.

Conclusion: It is evident from the findings of the study that nurses are experiencing staffing patterns negatively.


Keywords

Experiences; Nurses; Staffing patterns; Surgical wards; Private hospital

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