PhD Graduate Formulates Guidelines for Nursing Management
Nursing Management Lecturer at UKZN, Dr Jane Kerr has formulated guidelines for nursing management in her PhD thesis.
The dissertation is titled: “An Analysis of Nurse Managers Human Resource Management of HIV and/or Tuberculosis Affected/Infected Nurses in Selected Hospitals in the eThekwini District of KwaZulu-Natal - An Ethnographic study”.
Having been a practising nurse since 1974, Kerr explains how her study came about. ‘Most research starts from one’s own experiences. In a real life working situation where I was a Nursing Manager I had to plan hospital staffing on a daily basis within a district hospital which is often a problem. With a small number of staff, non - disclosed statuses and maintaining confidentiality often came into question.’
In light of South Africa’s present hospital staffing deficits which have been aggravated by the high occurrence of HIV and TB, Kerr’s study explored how nurse managers managed infected nurses.
Nurse Managers were interviewed about their daily planning activities, the quality of care, and their perceived priorities and concerns. Guidelines were then formulated and published by Kerr to assist in their decision making.
What was particularly important about Kerr’s study, supervised by Professor Petra Brysiewicz and Professor Busi Bhengu, was that she discovered a fragmented legislative framework. The draft guidelines which she formulated and has suggested in the outcome of her study are designed to assist with problems and improve the system.
Kerr’s study pointed out that the absenteeism of nurses was not well managed in terms of compliance within the nursing environment.
Said Kerr: ‘The most important aspect of the research would be for the guidelines to be refined and implemented.’
Bengu said Kerr needed to present feedback to the government in the form of presentations and departmental visits. ‘The South African Nursing Council has a regulation making it possible to report nurses who have committed unprofessional conduct due to incapacity. Such nurses may be temporarily suspended while they are being rehabilitated and then assessed to establish when they are ready to return to work.’
Kerr received funding from the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Honour Society of Nursing, and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) for her study.
Kerr is the Acting Co-ordinator for the Bachelor of Nursing and is a research Supervisor for Masters of Nursing (M Nursing) students.
She has been at UKZN since 2009 and spent the past five years working on her PhD leaving her precious little free time. However, she enjoys reading and playing golf.
- Zakia Jeewa