Strategies to improve the work environment of professional nurses working at a private hospital in Bloemfontein
Ruder, Jacoba Christina
MetadataShow full item record
Nursing as a profession is currently facing a multitude of difficulties and adversaries. Some of the difficulties and adversaries are poor planning within the managerial top structure of the profession, general negative opinion of the nursing profession, managed patient care by medical schemes, privatisation of hospital care and an ever changing patient profile. These factors lead to the professional nurses of today feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, who will easily leave the profession causing high rate of turnover and a loss of talent and expertise. During the course of this study the current situation within a specific private hospital was evaluated by using the Nominal Group Technique. Characteristics of a negative and a positive work environment were specified and the advantages of creating and maintaining a positive work environment were emphasised. The recommendations gathered during the nominal group sessions were categorised and prioritised to ascertain the most important and critical factors that could improve the work environment of the professional nurses. Strategies were formulated based on the recommendations generated by the professional nurses themselves to improve their work environment. These strategies could be used by the management of the hospital to improve the work environment of the professional nurses to be able to retain the existing staff and recruit interested candidates to fill the vacant positions. The hierarchical needs theory of Maslow was used during the study to indicate the importance of creating and sustaining a positive work environment for the professional nurse by first concentrating on the attainment of the lower order needs. Once the lower order needs are met, the higher order needs will become priority and once that is met, self-actualisation and fulfilment of the professional nurses will follow. Fulfilled staff working in a motivating, positive work environment will not think of leaving the profession and will deliver good quality nursing care leaving the patients feeling satisfied and well cared for.