Caring for tomorrow

School of Clinical Care Sciences

RESEARCHER: Mabona, JFM

ABSTRACT: Governments, internationally and nationally, are becoming aware of the importance of healthy work environments within their health departments, environments that are caring and supportive to health professionals. Unhealthy work environments can contribute to medical errors, ineffective delivery of care, and conflict and stress among health professionals in the clinical setting and faculty shortage that can compromise academic excellence in the academic setting. The professional nurses working in the South African Military Health Service (SAMHS), a branch of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), could experience the military environment as unhealthy because it is rigid and controlled. The researcher will explore and describe ‘the professional nurses’ experiences of working in the SAMHS, a military environment and their understanding of best practice guidelines.

The proposed study will adopt a qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design. The research study will consist of three phases. In phase one semi-structured interviews will be conducted with professional nurses to collect information on their experiences of working in the SAMHS and their understanding of evidence based best practice guidelines. In phase two literature will be reviewed and appraised critically in search of previous best practice guidelines on a healthy work environment for nurses. In Phase 3 evidence collected from literature reviewed will be integrated into research findings and a best practice guideline to facilitate a healthy work environment for nurses in the SAMHS will be developed. The multidisciplinary team of experts will be utilized to develop the guidelines and external review will be done before implementation.