Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Curationis]]> vol. 31 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Human rights and health: Challenges for training nurses in South Africa</b>]]> The need for health professionals to address their human rights obligations has emerged in the last decade both internationally as well as nationally following the findings of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Support for human rights norms has become a priority for institutions as well as practitioners within the health sector. Training plays a crucial role in shaping health professional practice. In addition to creating a clear understanding of the linkages between human rights and health, educators can role-model how health professionals should act to support human rights. This article explores human rights derived from the South African Constitution in relation to the obligation on health professionals to respect, protect, promote and fulfill human rights. The implications of this commitment to human rights training of nurses are discussed, drawing on the authors' nine years of experience in running courses for South African health professional educators. Themes include: developing core competencies for human rights in health professional curricula, identifying appropriate instructional methodologies and assessment tools suited to the content and context of human rights, and engaging the institutional environment for human rights teaching, at both the level of institutional culture and strategic implementation. At a time when there are increasing demands on the nursing profession to assume greater responsibility and develop versatility in its scope of practice, key challenges are posed for teaching and realising human rights. <![CDATA[<b>Student nurses' experiences during clinical practice in the Limpopo Province</b>]]> A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual study was conducted to explore student nurses' experiences during clinical practice at a nursing college in the Limpopo Province. Purposive sampling was used and phenomenological interviews were held with eleven (11) student nurses who were in their final year of the four year basic nursing programme. The interviews were analysed by using Tesch's method of data analysis for qualitative research. The findings indicate that there are aspects which impact negatively on student nurses' clinical learning experiences, such as lack of teaching and learning support, lack of opportunities for learning, poor theory-practice integration, and poor interpersonal relationships between the students, college tutors and ward staff. Recommendations to enhance the clinical learning experiences of student nurses were outlined. <![CDATA[<b>Working conditions that contribute to absenteeism among nurses in a provincial hospital in the Limpopo Province</b>]]> Absenteeism results in an increased workload for nurses who stand in for colleagues and can lead to situations in which a lack of motivation among nurses and a lowering of the quality of patient care may occur. The researcher observed that certain conditions, such as inflexible working schedules, were given as reasons for the absenteeism in units in a provincial hospital. A non-experimental, descriptive, quantitative study was undertaken. The purpose of the article was to describe the working conditions that contribute to absenteeism among the professional and sub-professional nurses at a provincial hospital in the Limpopo province of South Africa. The sample included 107 professional nurses and 163 sub-professional nurses who voluntarily agreed to participate in the study. A questionnaire was used to collect data, which was analysed by using descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings of this study indicated that personal and managerial characteristics, and organisational and working conditions may lead to absenteeism in the workplace. This article focuses on the working conditions that are constraints, namely inadequate group cohesion, inadequate delegation of autonomy, role ambiguity, ineffective routinisation and the effect of the workload in the workplace. Recommendations are made for improving working conditions to combat absenteeism among nurses. The limitations of this study are highlighted. <![CDATA[<b>Work-family conflict, job satisfaction and spousal support: An exploratory study of nurses' experience</b>]]> In recognising the highly stressful nature of the nursing profession, the added burden of hospital staff shortages, and patient overload, the present study explored the impact of work on family functioning, its relationship to job satisfaction and the role of spousal support in a group of 80 female nurses working in a government hospital. Using a descriptive, correlational design, the relationships among job satisfaction, work-family conflict (WFC) and spousal/partner support were explored. The hypotheses that job satisfaction and WFC would be negatively correlated, that job satisfaction and spousal support would be positively correlated, and that WFC and spousal support would be negatively correlated, were tested using correlation techniques. All hypotheses were confirmed. The role of spousal support in the relationship between job satisfaction and work-family conflict was highlighted. <![CDATA[<b>Pregnant women's knowledge about Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV infection through breast feeding</b>]]> The HIV and AIDS epidemic in South Africa has reached serious proportions. Over 5, 5 million South Africans are infected with HIV (Department of Health, 2004:10). Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) is a well-established mode of HIV transmission and these infections may occur during pregnancy, labour, delivery and breastfeeding. According to the Department of Health (2000:2), breastfeeding constitutes a significant risk of MTCT HIV transmission. Studies in Africa have also shown that breast-feeding increases the risk of MTCT by 12%-43% (Department of Health, 2000:13;Department of Health, 2000:3). Since breastfeeding is a significant and preventable mode of HIV transmission to infants, there is an urgent need to educate, counsel and support women and families to make informed decisions about how best to feed their infants in the context of HIV. To achieve a reduction in MTCT, there is an urgent need to empower women with information on MTCT for informed decision-making. However, cultural factors and the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS might contribute to limited knowledge about MTCT through breastfeeding. The aim of the study was to determine pregnant women's knowledge about MTCT of HIV/AIDS infection through breastfeeding. Findings of the study will be used to update the existing health education programmes in the field of Maternal and Child Health. The design was a descriptive research survey. The population consisted of 100 pregnant women. Convenience sampling was used to select mothers during antenatal visits at a particular clinic at Polokwane municipality. Self-constructed questionnaires were translated into Northern Sotho and distributed to the women. Data analysis used descriptive statistics. The findings of the study revealed a high level of awareness of HIV and AIDS and a low level of knowledge about MTCT of HIV and AIDS infection through breastfeeding. Based on the conclusions, a revised health education programme was proposed for the Maternal and Child Health field. <![CDATA[<b>Diagnosing childhood Tuberculosis in rural clinics in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis is a major global public health challenge and disease in young children is particularly severe. Diagnosing tuberculosis in children is complex as clinical presentation is often atypical and available diagnostic modalities are imperfect. Diagnosis is particularly challenging in developing countries where resources and access to sophisticated facilities are limited. The South African primary health care system requires frontline nurses to be equipped to suspect, diagnose and treat children with tuberculosis, but their capacity to diagnose childhood tuberculosis is unknown. Relatively low rates of childhood tuberculosis notification suggested that tuberculosis may have been under-diagnosed in Mpumalanga Province. OBJECTIVE: To determine the ability of the primary health care nurses to diagnose childhood tuberculosis in primary care public health facilities in Gert Sibande District, Mpumalanga Province. METHODOLOGY: Within-method triangulation by means of a self-completed questionnaire and a facility audit of records and diagnostic aids, was used to assess nurses' knowledge and determine whether primary health care facilities were adequately equipped to facilitate the diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis. RESULTS: There was a limited appreciation of the need to use complementary clinical and epidemiological features and diagnostic approaches to diagnose childhood tuberculosis. Child contacts had only been screened in 22.6% (111/491) of confirmed smear positive adult tuberculosis cases reviewed. The diagnostic score chart advocated by the World Health Organization and South African Department of Health was only used by 16% (10/62) of the facilities. Nurses who had been specifically trained on tuberculosis were more knowledgeable about diagnostic approaches and all respondents who were using the score chart had received specific tuberculosis training. CONCLUSION: The deficiencies in knowledge and practice evident during this survey and practice audit could at least partially explain the relatively low detection rates of childhood tuberculosis in Gert Sibande district, Mpumalanga Province. There is a need to equip primary health care nurses with the knowledge, support and access to diagnostic tests required to ensure a high index of suspicion and early, effective, diagnosis of tuberculosis in children. <![CDATA[<b>Nurses' views about tuberculosis patients' discharge plan at Moses Kotane in the North-West Province</b>]]> The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the opinions of nurses working with tuberculosis (TB) patients regarding hospital discharge plans at Moses Kotane in North-West, South Africa. METHOD: A qualitative, exploratory and descriptive study was conducted with these nurses. The population involved registered nurses working with TB patients for more than two years. The population was purposely selected. Focus group interviews were conducted to collect data from this population. The research process was guided by the research question: What are the opinions of nurses working with TB patients regarding hospital discharge plans at Moses Kotane in the North-West Province? The group moderator guided the participants throughout the interviews in which the central research question was posed. Tesch's qualitative method of data analysis was used to analyse the data obtained. FINDINGS: Subcategories and categories, and the following themes emerged during the data analysis: the need for education and involvement, the co-existence of TB and HIV/ Aids infections and the knowledge of continuous laboratory investigations. The participants discussed the suggestions and solutions for effective hospital discharge plans. The research findings could assist in the improvement of existing hospital discharge plans at Moses Kotane District. CONCLUSIONS: The results revealed both positive and negative opinions regarding discharge plans. The data were classified into themes, categories and subcategories. The participants' suggestions regarding discharge plans were addressed and discussed. Finally, recommendations were disseminated to concerned authorities. <![CDATA[<b>Lifestyle risk factors in an urban South African community</b>]]> The research question addressed in the study was to determine the prevalence of the following lifestyle risk factors: obesity, waist-hip ratio, physical inactivity, high blood glucose, and hypertension in an urban community. The research objective for the study was to determine the prevalence of specific risk factors in an urban community. Based on the results, a health intervention could be planned and implemented to reduce the prevalence of the risk factors and the possibility of chronic non-communicable diseases in later life. The design was a quantitative survey using physical measurement and a structured questionnaire. The target population of the study was black urban adults (n=218). The sampling method was convenient and purposive. The results of the study indicated that the prevalence of hypertension and obesity were higher than the national prevalence for South Africa. The waist-hip ratio revealed that 20% of the men and 49.7% of the women were at risk for cardiovascular disease. High blood glucose levels were demonstrated for 21.6% of the group. Physical activity was also shown to be inadequate. In conclusion, the potential for cardiovascular and metabolic health problems in future is high. It is recommended that an intervention, based on the results of the study, should and must be developed and implemented. The more challenging question is to know what to do and how to do it. A framework is suggested to guide the development of an intervention. <![CDATA[<b>The relationship between body mass index and self-concept among adolescent black female university students</b>]]> The study investigated the relationship between body mass index and self-concept among adolescent black female university students. The study used a mixed research design (quantitative and qualitative methods). Media images of handsome faces and beautiful bodies are used to sell almost everything, from clothes and cosmetic to luncheon, meats, and so on. These images reinforce the western cultural stereotype that women should be thin and shapely to be attractive. Thus, as some girls go through puberty they may become dissatisfied with their weight, and to a lesser extent, with their shape, thus, developing low self-concept or imae of themselves. It is in this context that the study was conceptualised. First year female students from three different Schools and Faculties at the University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus, South Africa, participated in the study. Using the availability and convenient sampling method, 75 students were selected for this study. For the quantitative aspect of the study, the Rosenberg Self-esteem Measure was used to measure self-esteem. For the qualitative part, a topic guide was used for the focus group discussions. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the Pearson's Product Moment Correlation were used to analyse the quantitative data, while the phenomenological principle of open coding used for the thematic analysis. Results showed that there is a relationship between body mass and self-concept and that overweight participants tend to have a low self-esteem. Low self-esteem was perceived to be aggravated by a number of factors, like the attitude of the media and the society. Participants who are overweight also indicated that they are limited in certain activities of daily living (e.g., sports) as a result of their body mass. They expressed mixed feelings and frustration when it comes to such activities. The above results did not differ from those reported from western cultures. Support groups, life-skills programmes and psychotherapy should be made available and attainable for overweight female adolescent students.