The relationship between nurses educational background and the safety and quality of patient care in surgical units in private hospitals in Gauteng
Background: International literature seems to agree that nurses are the backbone of quality patient care and safety. Moreover, the appropriate training of nurses is vital to providing high quality and safe patient care. South Africa has a dual healthcare system and different categories of nurses. The perceptions of the safety and quality of care of the different categories of nurses are not known in the South African context. Objective: To determine the relationship between the educational background of nurses and their perceptions on the safety and quality of patient care in private surgical units in South Africa. Methods: This study followed a comparative descriptive design. Data was collected by means of a questionnaire as part of an international collaborative study, Nurse Forecasting in Europe (RN4CAST). Hierarchical linear modelling was used to examine the relationships among the variables in the 304 completed and returned questionnaires. Results: Overall, both registered- and enrolled nurses seemed satisfied with the safety and quality of care delivered in their units. Registered nurses (RNs) scored higher in the occurrence of incidents in surgical wards, whilst enrolled nurses (ENs) were of the opinion that current efforts to prevent errors are adequate. Conclusions: This study provides information that RN’s and EN’s have different perceptions in some areas on the quality and safety of patient care. A statistically significant difference was found between RN’s and EN’s perceptions on the prevention of errors in the unit, namely, losing patient information between shifts and patient incidents related to medication errors, pressure ulcers and falls with injury.
- Health Sciences