Health SA Gesondheid (Online)
On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848
SKHOSANA, Rebecca M. and PEU, Mmapheko D.. Experiences of health care providers managing sexual assault victims in the emergency unit Part 1: Background and methodology. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.1, pp.120-126. ISSN 2071-9736.
The objective of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of health care providers managing sexual assault victims in the emergency unit of a community hospital in the Nkangala district in the Mpumalanga Province. A qualitative, phenomenological design was applied. Purposeful sampling was used to select participants from health care providers who were working in the emergency unit and had managed more than four sexual assault victims. Data were collected by means of individual interviews and analysed according to the Tesch method of data analysis by the researcher and the independent co-coder. Main categories, subcategories and themes were identified. Participants expressed their emotions, challenges and police attitudes and behaviours as well as inconsistencies in guidelines and needs identification. It was recommended that members of the multidisciplinary team engage in community activities and that the community participate in matters pertaining to sexual assault. Government should develop clear guidelines that are applicable to rural and urban South Africa. Health care sciences should aim to train more forensic nurses. All relevant departments should work together to alleviate the complications caused by sexual assault incidents.
Keywords : patient-carer relationship; sexual assault; victims; health care providers; emergency unit.