Stressors and coping strategies among Baccalaureus technologiae undergraduate nursing students at a Western Cape higher education institution

Rossouw, Freda Marina (2018-03)

Thesis (MCur)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: Background There is a great global concern to identify early signs of stress and coping strategies among undergraduate nursing students. Effective identification and recognition of these potential stressors may help nursing students to adjust their existing coping strategies more effectively, increase their ability to grow into the nursing profession, and improve their physical and emotional well-being. Design This was a descriptive, cross-sectional quantitative study using a questionnaire survey to describe the stressors experienced and coping strategies used by undergraduate nursing students at one point in time. The aim of the study was to identify stressors and coping strategies among BTech undergraduate nursing students studying towards becoming a registered nurse. The objectives were to:  Identify stressors (distress, eustress) as experienced by these students;  Identify the coping strategies used by these students; and  Determine the association between the stressors and the type of coping strategies used by the students. Three questionnaires were used. The first questionnaire was utilised to gather biographical data. The second one, with the title “Index of Sources of Stress in Nursing Students’’ (ISSN), measured the stressors. The third questionnaire, titled “Coping Schemas Inventory Revised’’, measured the coping strategies in a multicultural environment. Furthermore, four open-ended questions were included to identify the personal and financial stressors (distress/eustress). The target population included the second year (Extended Curriculum Programme) group, and the rest of the mainstream groups (first, second, third, and fourth year) nursing students (N=211) studying towards a registration as a registered professional nurse at a nursing higher education institution in the Western Cape. A non-probability convenience sampling method was used since it was the most practical method to utilise. The pilot study included five (5) fourth year undergraduate nursing students, who were excluded from the main study. A statistician from Stellenbosch University assisted with the data analysis. A statistical package was applied to calculate the frequencies, mean scores, and standard deviations of stressors and coping strategies. Pearson’s correlation test was applied to analyse the associations between the variables. Ethical approval was granted from the Health Research Ethics Committee of Stellenbosch University (HREC, Reference number: S15/10/256), the Department of Health (WC20 16RP42 963), the Cape Peninsula University of Technology-Health and Wellness Science Research Ethics Committee (HW-REC 2017/H1) and the nursing higher education institution where the study was conducted. Results It was found that nursing students experienced distress as well as eustress. Nursing students used a variety of coping strategies to adapt to their stressors. Support from family and friends were deemed valuable for students. Financial issues were a main stressor for students. Although students rated eustress high, the distresses are more profound than burnout. Nursing students used a variety of coping strategies. Religious coping was the most frequently reported strategy used by them. The hypotheses was tested and a positive correlation was reported between the positive (uplifting) stressors and coping strategies such as social support, passive and active emotional support, religious support, self-restructuring, acceptance, tension reduction, and meaning. Conclusion The descriptive cross-sectional study identified the stressors and coping strategies used by undergraduate nursing students. It was evident that students at this nursing education institution experience both distress and eustress. They also apply a variety of coping strategies. In the light of this, capacity building interventions should be designed and implemented to equip students at this nursing education institution. These interventions could specifically focus on those areas of stress coping strategies that was identified as shortcomings, and build on their positive coping strategies. This ties in with the profile of trends in the academic support and development for students and staff at Higher Education Institutions in South Africa.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Agtergrond Daar bestaan tans ʼn globale bekommernis oor die vroeë tekens van stres en hanteringstrategieë onder voorgraadse verpleegstudente. Effektiewe identifikasie en herkenning van die potensiële stressors mag verpleegstudente help om hul bestaande hanteringstrategieë meer effektief aan te pas, hul vermoë om in verpleging as ʼn beroep te groei en hul fisiese asook emosionele welstand te verbeter. Ontwerp Hierdie beskrywende deursnee-kwantitatiewe studie het ʼn vraelys opname gebruik om die stressors en hanteringstrategieë onder voorgraadse verpleegstudente gedurende ʼn bepaalde tydstip te beskryf. Die doel van die studie was om stressors en hanteringstrategieë onder BTech voorgraadse verpleegstudente wat studeer om ʼn geregistreerde verpleegkundige te word, te identifiseer. Die doelwitte was om:  Die stressors, naamlik angstigheid (negatiewe spanning) en eustres (positiewe spanning), by die studente te identifiseer;  Die hanteringstrategieë wat deur die studente gebruik word te identifiseer; en  Die verbintenis tussen die stressors en die tipe hanteringstrategieë wat die studente gebruik te bepaal. Drie vraelyste is gebruik. Die eerste vraelys het biografiese data ingesamel. Die tweede vraelys het die stressors gemeet en was getiteld “Indeks van Stresbronne by Verpleegstudente”. Die derde vraelys het die hanteringstrategieë in ʼn multi-kulturele omgewing gemeet. Hierdie vraelys se titel is “Hersiene Hanteringskema-Inventaris”. Die teiken bevolking was tweedejaar-studente in die verlengde kurrikulum program, asook hoofstroom eerste, tweede-, derde- en vierdejaar-verpleegstudente aan ʼn hoëronderwysinstelling vir verpleging in die Wes-Kaap (N=211) wat studeer om ʼn loopbaan as ʼn geregistreerde verpleegkundige te volg. ʼn Nie-waarskynlikheid-geriefsteekproefneming is toegepas aangesien dit die beste praktiese metode was om te gebruik. Die geloodsde ondersoek het vyf (5) vierdejaar studente ingesluit wat by die hoofstudie uitgesluit is. ʼn Statistikus van die Universiteit van Stellenbosch het hulp verleen met die data-analise. ʼn Statistiese pakket vir die gereelde gebruik van stressors en hanteringstrategieë (gemiddelde telling en standaardafwyking) is toegepas. Die Pearson korrelasietoets is toegepas om die assosiasies tussen die veranderlikes te ondersoek. Etiese goedkeuring is deur die Gesondheidsnavorsing Etiese Komitee van die Universiteit van Stellenbosch (HREC, Verwysingsnommer S15/10/256), die Department van Gesondheid (WC20 16RP42 963), die Kaapse Skiereiland Universiteit van Tegnologie se Gesondheid en Welstandswetenskapnavorsing Etiese Komitee (HW-REC 2017/H1), asook die hoëronderwysinstelling vir verpleging waar die studie plaasgevind het, verleen. Uitslae Daar is bevind dat die verpleegstudente beide angstigheid en positiewe spanning (eustres) ervaar. Verpleegstudente gebruik verskeie hanteringstrategieë om by hul stressors aan te pas. Ondersteuning van familie en vriende is waardevol vir die studente. Finansiële kwessies is ʼn hoofstressor vir hierdie studente. Alhoewel hulle eustres hoog geag het, was angstigheid meer diepgaande as uitbranding. Verpleegstudente gebruik verskeie hanteringstrategieë. Geloof is as die mees gewilde strategie geïdentifiseer. Die hipotese is getoets en dit het ʼn positiewe korrelasie tussen opbouende stressors en hanteringstrategieë soos sosiale ondersteuning, passiewe en aktiewe emosionele steun, religieuse steun, self-herstrukturering, aanvaarding, spanningsverlaging en sinvolheid. Afsluiting Hierdie beskrywende deursnee-studie het die stressors en die hanteringstrategieë wat deur voorgraadse studente gebruik word, ondersoek. Dit was duidelik dat studente by hierdie verpleegkunde-onderwysinstelling beide angstigheid en positiewe spanning (eustres) ervaar. Hulle maak ook van ʼn verskeidenheid hanteringstrategieë gebruik. In die lig hiervan word daar voorgestel dat kapasiteitsbouende intervensies ontwerp en geïmplementeer moet word om studente by hierdie verpleeg-onderwysinstelling toe te rus. Die intervensies kan spesifiek op die areas van stres-hanteringstrategieë wat as tekortkominge geïdentifiseer is, fokus asook bou op hulle positiewe hanteringstrategieë. Dit sluit aan by die profiel van tendense in die akademiese ondersteuning en ontwikkeling vir studente en personeel by hoëronderwysinstellings in Suid-Afrika.

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