On-line version ISSN 0379-8577
SWART, Reece P.; PRETORIUS, Ronel and KLOPPER, Hester. Educational background of nurses and their perceptions of the quality and safety of patient care. Curationis [online]. 2015, vol.38, n.1, pp. 1-8. ISSN 0379-8577. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v38i1.1126.
BACKGROUND: International health systems research confirms the critical role that nurses play in ensuring the delivery of high quality patient care and subsequent patient safety. It is therefore important that the education of nurses should prepare them for the provision of safe care of a high quality. The South African healthcare system is made up of public and private hospitals that employ various categories of nurses. The perceptions of the various categories of nurses with reference to quality of care and patient safety are unknown in South Africa (SA). OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship between the educational background of nurses and their perceptions of quality of care and patient safety in private surgical units in SA. METHODS: A descriptive correlational design was used. A questionnaire was used for data collection, after which hierarchical linear modelling was utilised to determine the relationships amongst the variables. RESULTS: Both the registered- and enrolled nurses seemed satisfied with the quality of care and patient safety in the units were they work. Enrolled nurses (ENs) indicated that current efforts to prevent errors are adequate, whilst the registered nurses (RNs) obtained high scores in reporting incidents in surgical wards. CONCLUSION: From the results it was evident that perceptions of RNs and ENs related to the quality of care and patient safety differed. There seemed to be a statistically-significant difference between RNs and ENs perceptions of the prevention of errors in the unit, losing patient information between shifts and patient incidents related to medication errors, pressure ulcers and falls with injury.