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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

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

Health SA Gesondheid (Online) vol.16 n.1 Cape Town  2011




The emotional well-being of the nurse within the multi-skill setting



Heleen French; Emmerentia du Plessis; Belinda Scrooby

School of Nursing Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom campus, South Africa





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.


Die emosionele welstand van verpleegkundiges werksaam in 'n multivaardigheidsopset kan moontlik negatief beïnvloed word deur die uitdagende werksomgewing. 'n Kwalitatiewe, verkennende, beskrywende en kontekstuele studie is uitgevoer om hierdie verskynsel te ondersoek. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die ervaring van verpleegkundiges, asook hul persepsies van hanteringsmeganismes, in 'n multi-vaardigheidsopset te verken en beskryf, sowel as om aanbevelings vir die bevordering van hulle emosionele welstand te formuleer. Die populasie het bestaan uit verpleegkundiges werksaam in 'n multivaardigheidsopset ('n Vlak-2 hospitaal) en het professionele verpleegkundiges, ingeskrewe verpleegkundiges en verpleegassistente ingesluit. 'n Alles-insluitende steekproef is gebruik. Semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude is met drie professionele verpleegkundiges, ses ingeskrewe verpleegkundiges en een verpleegassistent gevoer. Hierdie onderhoude is volgens die metode deur Creswell (2003:192) beskryf, geanaliseer. Die bevindinge het getoon dat verpleegkundiges positiewe sowel as negatiewe ervaringe van die multivaardigheidsopset het. Hulle gebruik taakprioritisering, geloof, selfmotivering en wedersydse ondersteuning as hanteringsmeganismes. Hulle het ook voorstelle gemaak vir die bevordering van hul emosionele welstand, op persoonlike sowel as bestuursvlak. Aanbevelings vir verdere navorsing, verpleegonderwys en die praktyk is geformuleer. Aanbevelings vir die praktyk sluit in 'in-die-oomblik' indiensopleiding, toepaslike taaktoewysing, duidelikheid oor bestek van praktyk, tyd vir rus en ontlading, verbeterde verhoudings met bestuur, bevordering van sterk karaktereienskappe en die skep van 'n ondersteuningsnetwerk.



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Emmerentia du Plessis
Private Bag X6001
Potchefstroom 2520
South Africa

Received: 24 Mar. 2010
Accepted: 18 Nov. 2010
Published: 16 May 2011

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