Exploring occupational health care nurses’ perceptions of systems to enhance their own resilience, hardiness and well-being
Occupational health care (OHC) nurse practitioners experience numerous stressful situations on a daily basis in their different working environments. Studies done in the government sector in South Africa showed that increased nursing dissatisfaction and compromised well-being are due to staff shortages, high work-load and unsatisfactory negative working environments. The resilience, hardiness and well-being of OHC nurses are the important aspects examined. The study followed an interpretive, descriptive qualitative design with the purpose of exploring and describing occupational health care nurses’ perceptions of current support systems utilised within a private organisation, with a view to enhancing their resilience, hardiness and well-being. To achieve this aim, the following objectives were set and reached: To explore and describe the perceptions of occupational health care nurses about the adequacy of current occupational health care support systems, utilised within a private organisation, with particular reference to their well-being. To explore and describe occupational health care nurses’ perceptions of how these support systems effectively enhance resilience, hardiness and well-being. Approval for this study was obtained from the Human Health Research Ethics Committee of the North-West University, Ethics number: NWU – 00129-18 – A1 as well as from the vice-president, senior manager and direct manager of the private organisation. The target population in this study was the staff of two medical centres, comprising occupational health practitioners from a private organisation in a petrochemical industry situated in the Free State and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa. A purposive sampling strategy was employed. This strategy was chosen as it allowed the researcher to select the most appropriate participants towards achieving the overall purpose of the research. Purposive sampling was used moreover to ensure consistency and unbiased representation. The researcher involved all nursing staff from two medical centres as the sample. This included a total of 26 nurses. The selected method was used to ensure that v only nursing staff from the specific private petrochemical organisation who complied with the inclusion criteria would participate after voluntary signing of consent. The data collection method in this study centred on focus group discussions by means of a semi-structured interview guide. Data was analysed by making use of a revised qualitative data analysis approach and utilising the ATLAS.ti program, co-coded as a measure to ensure trustworthiness of the data. Main and sub-themes were identified as follows: 1) Occupational health care nurses’ perception of current support services; effective services promote personal and professional growth and well-being; salary package benefits are perceived as services. 2) Promoting nurse’s well-being; improving constructive internal communication and acknowledging nurses’ professional contributions. In conclusion, OHC nurses perceived support systems as aiding them in some respects to enhance resilience, hardiness and well-being, but several limitations were indicated that need consideration and should engender recommendations for improvement. Limitations of the study were presented and recommendations were made for nursing practise, nursing education and nursing research. These recommendations have the potential to equip nurses and management by improving resilience building skills such as determination, communication, building work relationships, problem solving and organisational skills. The knowledge that was engendered by this study could be utilised to enhance the resilience, hardiness and general well-being of nurses. It could also improve their working environment, which would lead to greater job satisfaction.
- Health Sciences