The exploration of in–service training needs of psychiatric nurses
Letlape, Herman Rankele
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New research findings, changes in legislation and the use of information technology in nursing, requires continuous in-service training of psychiatric nurses (Booyens, 2004:381; Muller, 2004:294) to cope with, reflect on, evaluate and modify their clinical practice based on emerging knowledge (Cowen et al.,2009:2; Polit & Beck, 2006:4). Many studies have been conducted on the importance of in-service training, and authors agree that in-service training improves the quality of nursing care. However few studies on in-service in South Africa and psychiatric nursing science have been conducted, of which the last study conducted on psychiatric nursing science in South Africa was 1986 (Nel, 1986:1-125). Personal observations found that some psychiatric hospitals in Gauteng do not conduct in-service training at all and informal discussions held with nursing managers highlighted that when in-service training programmes are compiled that are poorly followed, and it is unclear what the needs of psychiatric nurses are in terms of in-service training to keep them updated and empowered to perform to the best of their ability. The objectives of the study were to explore and describe the needs and benefits of in-service training for psychiatric nurses in a specific psychiatric hospital in Gauteng and to formulate recommendations for in-service training for psychiatric nurses in this hospital. The research project followed a qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual approach. Six focus group interviews were conducted and relevant data obtained. The findings of this research included seven main themes, namely the need for in-service training, career advantages, social advantages, physical advantages, psychological advantages of in-service training, recommendations regarding in-service training and factors that hinder in-service training. These findings were enriched with direct quotations from the transcriptions as verbalized by psychiatric nurses during focus group discussions. The findings were compared with available relevant literature for confirmation. Recommendations were formulated for nursing education, nursing research and nursing practice that focus on in-service training for psychiatric nurses.
- Health Sciences