Exploring the role of patient care workers in private hospitals in the Cape Metropole

Aylward, Louise Annet (2015-04)

Thesis (MCur)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Controversy was observed regarding the opinions of nursing managers on the role of patient care workers (PCWs) in private hospitals. These opinions ranged from praise for their contribution towards patient care to serious concerns about the impact of their role on patient safety. The aim of this study was therefore to explore the role of PCWs in private hospitals in the Cape Metropole, South Africa. A qualitative approach with a descriptive design was applied to explore the role of PCWs as perceived by unit managers, nurses and patient care workers. Purposive sampling was used to select participants from medical and surgical wards from three different private hospitals, one each from the three major private hospital groups in South Africa (n=15). Permission to conduct the study was obtained from the Health Research Ethics Committee of the Stellenbosch University, as well as from the private hospital organisations. Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted, transcribed and analysed. Six themes emerged from the data. These included PCW activities, care organisation, position in the patient care team, training, reasons for employment and concerns about the PCW role. The findings indicated strong similarities with the health care asistant role as described in the literature study. The activities of PCWs are focused on direct patient care and they spend much time with patients. They are close observers of the patient’s condition and report to nurses. PCWs seem to be well integrated into the patient care team and are mostly seen as nurses. Yet, there are concerns about their evolving role despite their limited training programmes and the lack of direct supervision. The researcher recommends that the work of PCWs should be regulated, but that the nursing profession should critically evaluate the need for another nursing category in addition to that of the enrolled nurse auxiliary.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Teenstrydigheid is waargeneem met betrekking tot die opinies van verpleegbestuurders oor die rol van pasiёntsorgwerkers (PSWs) in privaat hospitale. Hierdie opinies het variëer van waardering vir hul bydrae tot pasiёntsorg tot ernstige besorgdheid oor die impak van hulle rol op pasiënt veiligheid. Die doel van hierdie studie was dus om die rol van PSWs in privaat hospitale in die Kaapse Metropool in Suid Afrika te ondersoek. ‘n Kwalitatiewe benadering met ‘n beskrywende ontwerp is gevolg om die rol van PSWs, soos waargeneem deur eenheidsbestuurders, verpleegsters en PSWs self, te ondersoek. Doelgerigte steekproeftrekking is gebruik om deelnemers van mediese en chirurgiese sale uit drie verskillende privaat hospitale, een uit elk van die drie grootste privaat hospitaal organisasies in Suid Afrika, te kies (n=15). Toestemming om die studie te doen is verkry van die Etiek Komitee vir Gesondheidsorgnavorsing van die Universiteit van Stellenbosch sowel as van die privaat hospitaal organisasies. Vyftien semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude is gevoer, woordeliks getik en ge-analiseer. Ses temas het uit die data na vore gekom. Dit sluit die aktiwiteite van PSWs, die organisering van sorg, plek in die pasiёntsorg span, opleiding, redes vir indiensneming en besorgdheid oor die rol van PSWs. Die bevindinge toon ‘n sterk ooreenkoms met die rol van die gesondheidsorg assistent soos beskryf in die literatuur. PSWs fokus op direkte pasiёntsorg en spandeer baie tyd met pasiёnte. Weens hulle nabyheid aan die pasiёnt, kan hulle die pasiёnt se toestand waarneem en bevindings rapporteer aan verpleegsters. PSWs is oёnskynlik goed geїntegreer in die pasiёntsorgspan en word meesal as verpleegsters beskou. Tog is daar besorgdheid oor die uitbreiding van hulle rol ten spyte van beperkte opleidingsprogramme en ‘n gebrek aan toesighouding. Die navorser stel voor dat die werk van PSWs gereguleer behoort te word, maar ook dat die verpleegprofessie die nodigheid van ‘n addisionele kategorie tot die assistent verpleegster, krities moet evalueer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97029
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