Factors contributing to absenteeism of nurses in primary care centres in the Ethekwini Municipal District of Kwazulu-Natal

Singh, Ragani (2012-03)

Thesis (MCur)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Absenteeism is a problem all over the world and a solution cannot be easily found. This is also a challenge faced by employers in South Africa. Absenteeism exacerbates the difficulty of health service delivery in many countries where the number of nurses available is insufficient to meet all of the healthcare demands in the health care sector, in this regard South Africa is no exception to this problem. The annual loss to the South African economy caused by absenteeism is between R12 billion and R19.144 billion per year. A combination of factors, namely characteristics of the nurse, the workplace, management, as well as characteristics of the organisation can influence absenteeism. Absenteeism of nurses is on the increase at primary care centres in the Ethekwini municipal district and it has a negative impact on provision of health care services where the study is proposed. It is imperative that sufficient nursing staff be available for duty to provide services to clients. No research on absenteeism has been conducted at these institutions. Therefore, identifying the contributing factors in order to be able to manage it effectively is essential. The aim of this research was to identify factors that contribute to absenteeism of nurses at eight primary care centres in the Ethekwini municipal district of KwaZulu- Natal. A quantitative descriptive exploratory research design was applied for this purpose. The population was all categories of permanently employed nursing staff working at the eight primary care centres. The total population consisted of 689 nurses. Following a pilot study consisting of 10% of the total sample, a research sample was compiled by means of a simple random sampling method and included 30% of all categories of nurses – registered nurses, enrolled nurses and nursing assistants. Hundred and ninety one nurses out of 209 responded to the research study, which sets the response rate at 91%. Data was collected by means of an existing questionnaire. The questionnaire focused on the characteristics of the nurse, manager, work environment and organisation in order to identify factors that contribute to absenteeism of nurses. The data was analysed with the support of a statistician and was expressed as frequencies in tables and histograms. Descriptive statistical analyses, including tests for statistical associations, were performed. Results of this study indicate significant relationships between characteristics of the nurse, the manager, workplace and the organisation. Factors that were identified included stress, staff shortage, work overload, lack of promotion opportunities, lack of child care facilities, lack of appreciation and feedback, bureaucratic leadership styles, inflexible working schedules and lack of a satisfactory reward system. The results further indicate no significant relationship between demographical variables and absenteeism. Recommendations based on the results were offered and recommendations for future research were made.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Afwesigheid is ’n probleem dwarsoor die wêreld waarvoor daar nie ’n maklike oplossing gevind kan word nie. Dit is ook ’n uitdaging wat werkgewers in Suid-Afrika in die gesig staar. Afwesigheid vergroot die struikelblok om gesondheidsdienste in menige lande te verskaf waar die aantal beskikbare verpleegsters onvoldoende is vir die gesondheidssorgaanvraag. In hierdie opsig is Suid-Afrika geen uitsondering nie. Die jaarlikse verlies aan inkomste vir die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie veroorsaak deur afwesigheid is tussen R12 en R19.144 biljoen per jaar. ’n Kombinasie van faktore, naamlik kenmerke van die vepleegster, die bestuurder, die werkplek, asook kenmerke van die organisasie kan afwesigheid beïnvloed. Afwesigheid van verpleegsters is aan die toeneem by gesondheidssorg gemeenskapsentrums in die Ethekwini-distrik in Kwazulu-Natal en dit het ’n negatiewe impak op die voorsiening van gesondheidssorgdienste waar die studie onderneem is. Dit is noodsaaklik dat voldoende verpleegpersoneel beskikbaar moet wees vir diensverskaffing aan kliënte. Geen navorsing oor afwesigheid is al onderneem by hierdie inrigtings nie. Die identifisering van die faktore wat bydra tot afwesigheid van die werk is essensieel sodat die probleem effektief bestuur kan word. Die doel van hierdie navorsing is om die faktore te identifiseer wat bydra tot die afwesigheid van verpleegsters by agt primêre gesondheidssorg gemeenskapsentrums in die Ethekwini munisipale distrik van KwaZulu-Natal. ’n Kwantitatiewe beskrywende, ondersoekende navorsingsontwerp is toegepas vir hierdie doel. Die populasie het bestaan uit alle kategorieë van permanent aangestelde verpleegpersoneel wat werk by agt primêre gesondheidssorg gemeenskapsentrums. Die totale populasie het bestaan uit 689 verpleegsters. Na ’n loodsprojek van 10% van die totale steekproef, is ’n navorsingssteekproef saamgestel deur middel van ’n eenvoudige ewekansige steekproefmetode wat 30% van alle kategorieë verpleegsters ingesluit het, naamlik geregistreerde verpleegsters, ingeskrewe verpleegsters en verpleegassistente. Honderd een-en-negentig verpleegsters uit 209 het reageer op die navorsingsondersoek wat ‘n responsvlak van 91% daargestel het. Data is ingesamel deur middel van ’n bestaande vraelys. Die vraelys het gefokus op die eienskappe van die verpleegster, die bestuurder, werksomgewing en organisasie ten einde die faktore te identifiseer wat bydrae tot die afwesigheid van verpleegsters. Die data is geanaliseer met die ondersteuning van ’n statistikus en is uitgedruk as frekwensies in tabelle en histogramme en diagramme. Beskrywende statistiese analises, insluitende toetse vir statistiese assosiasies is uitgevoer. Resultate van hierdie studie dui aan dat ‘n beduidende verhouding bestaan tussen die kenmerke van die verpleegster, die bestuurder, werkplek, organisasie en afwesigheid van die werk. Faktore wat geidentifiseer is sluit in stress, personeel tekort, werkoorlading, gebrekkige bevorderingsgeleenthede, afwesigheid van fasiliteite vir die versorging van klein kinders, gebrek aan waardering en terugvoer, burokratiese leierskapstyle, onbuigbare werkskedules en ‘n gebrek aan ‘n bevredigende vergoedingstelsel. Die resultate van hierdie studie dui verder aan dat daar geen verband bestaan tussen demografiese veranderlikes en afwesigheid nie. Aanbevelings ten opsigte van die resultate is gemaak, asook aanbevelings vir toekomstige navorsing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20221
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