The relationship between non-nursing tasks, nursing tasks left undone and job satisfaction among professional nurses in South African hospitals
Bekker, Monique Christine
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Background: Research on nursing practice has highlighted a relationship between non-nursing tasks (NNTs), nursing tasks left undone (NTLU), and internationally it was found that these factors have an effect on job satisfaction. Since the last study done on NNTs and NTLU in 1988, much has changed in South Africa`s health system. Current South African studies have revealed that decreased numbers of PNs in South Africa experience satisfaction. Therefore, this study explores the relationship between NNTs, NTLU and job satisfaction on both individual PN level and unit level in South Africa, and contributes to the international debate. Aim: To investigate the relationship between NNTs, NTLU and job satisfaction among professional nurses (PNs) in medical and surgical units in private and public hospitals in South Africa. Method: A cross-sectional survey design was used including 1166 PNs in 60 medical and surgical units in 55 private hospitals and seven national referral hospitals in South Africa who completed the survey. Measures: Relationships between NNTs, NTLU, job satisfaction and aspects of job satisfaction. Results: The three main NNTs performed were filling-in for non-nursing services (d=0.47), cleaning patient’s rooms and equipment (d=0.48) and obtaining supplies and equipment (d=0.64). Nationally more than 50% of PNs reported the following NTLU – comfort/talk with patients (62.2%), educating patients and family (57.9%) and develop or update nursing care plans/pathways (51.6%). PNs in private hospitals are more satisfied with their jobs than PNs in public hospitals. PNs were most dissatisfied with the opportunities for advancement (M = 2.60) and educational opportunities (M=2.64) aspects of job satisfaction. At unit level, NTLU positively correlated with three NNTs, and job satisfaction correlated mostly and negatively with NTLU. Conclusion: South African PNs perform many NNTs. However, the performance of NNTs does not influence their job satisfaction to the extent the NTLU does. Although PNs in this study indicated that NNTs do not have a significant influence on NTLU, it may reveal a greater issue, in that PNs have grown accustomed to performing NNTs as part of their workload. Clarifying professional nurses’ scope of practice and increased use of support services may provide PNs with more time to conduct nursing tasks which should improve job satisfaction. Recommendations for practice, education, policy/orientation programmes and research are made from the findings of this study.
- Health Sciences