Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Health SA Gesondheid (Online)]]> vol. 23 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Challenges in implementing continuous support during childbirth in selected public hospitals in the North West Province of South Africa</b>]]> BACKGROUND: According to a Cochrane review, continuous support during childbirth increases the mother's chances of a vaginal birth without identified adverse effects. However, this evidence-based practice is not universally implemented. The objective of the study was to identify challenges encountered in implementing continuous support during childbirth in public hospitals in the North West Province of South Africa. METHOD: An explorative, descriptive and contextual qualitative approach was used. The data were collected during 2013 by conducting focus group interviews with 33 registered midwives who had worked in maternity units in three selected public hospitals in the North West Province for at least two years. RESULTS: Midwives identified challenges that negatively impacted the implementation of continuous support during childbirth at organisational and interpersonal levels. At the organisational level, challenges included human resources, policies and guidelines as well as the architectural outlay of the maternity units. The personal challenges related to communication and attitudes of nurses, patients and their families. CONCLUSIONS: Organisational and personal challenges had a negative impact on the provision of continuous care during childbirth. <![CDATA[<b>Neonatal chest image quality addressed through training to enhance radiographer awareness</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Diagnostic radiographers working in the neonatal intensive care unit primarily aim to produce an image of optimal quality using optimal exposure techniques without repeating exposures, to keep neonatal radiation dose to a minimum. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to determine whether radiographers were producing optimal quality chest images and, if not, whether additional training could contribute to reaching this goal in the Free State Province of South Africa. METHODS: Neonatal chest image quality was determined in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by using a checklist based on and compiled from published guidelines to evaluate the quality of 450 randomly-selected images. Thereafter, a training programme was designed, based on the evaluation criteria of the checklist and image quality areas identified. The training also referred to positioning techniques that should be applied to ensure optimal image quality. After presentation of the training, 450 newly-produced neonatal chest images were evaluated. These images were selected through purposive sampling as this evaluation only included images of participating radiographers who completed the training. RESULTS: Image quality that showed significant improvement included a reduction in electrocardiogram lines superimposed on chest anatomy, a tendency to centre closer to thoracic vertebra four, and visible four-sided collimation on images. Image quality areas with no significant enhancement were the absence of lead markers and radiation shielding. CONCLUSION: The study has shown that a training programme has the potential to improve neonatal chest image quality. <![CDATA[<b>Challenges experienced by postgraduate nursing students at a South African university</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The increase in nurses enrolling in postgraduate programmes as well as the need to improve their completion requires academics to establish environments conducive for postgraduate studies. The challenges experienced during postgraduate studies have to be identified to establish conducive environments. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to explore and describe the challenges experienced by postgraduate nursing students enrolled in postgraduate coursework and research programmes at a South African university. METHODS: An exploratory, descriptive and qualitative design was used. The study was contextual in nature. Purposive sampling was used. Fifteen honours, master's and doctoral students participated in the study. Data were analysed through qualitative content analysis and measures to ensure trustworthiness, and ethical implementation of the study were implemented. RESULTS: Three themes with categories were identified, namely personal challenges (i.e. finances, employment, family and accommodation), academic and institutional challenges (i.e. workload and time constraints, contact sessions, subject information and assessment) and research-related challenges (i.e. information literacy, supervisory relationship and supervisory structure and process. CONCLUSION: Institutional support addressing personal, academic and research-related challenges should be provided to enhance student experiences and completion.