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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848

Abstract

FRENCH, Heleen; DU PLESSIS, Emmerentia  and  SCROOBY, Belinda. The emotional well-being of the nurse within the multi-skill setting. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2071-9736.

The emotional well-being of nurses working in a multi-skill setting may be negatively influenced by their challenging work environment. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual study was conducted to investigate this phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the experience, as well as perceptions of coping mechanisms, of nurses working in the multi-skill setting, and to formulate recommendations to promote their emotional well-being. The population consisted of nurses working in a multi-skill setting (a Level-2 hospital) and included professional nurses, enrolled nurses and nurse assistants. An all-inclusive sample was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with three professional nurses, six enrolled nurses and one nurse assistant. These interviews were analysed according to the method described by Creswell (2003:192). The findings indicated that nurses have positive as well as negative experiences of the multi-skill setup. They cope by means of prioritising tasks, faith, self-motivation and mutual support. They also made suggestions for the promotion of their emotional well-being, on personal as well as managerial levels. Recommendations for further research, nurse education and practice were formulated. Recommendations for practice include 'on-the-spot' in-service training, appropriate task allocation, clearly defined scope of practice, time for rest and debriefing, strengthened relationships with management, promotion of strengths and creating a support system.

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