Instrumental Support for Professional Nurses Caring for Patients Living with HIV/AIDS in the Tshwane District of Gauteng, South Africa

Nthomeni Dorah Ndou


Public hospitals across South Africa are flooded by patients diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) related illnesses. The AIDS situation has completely changed the medical landscape and placed a great burden on the shoulders of professional nurses. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe instrumental support for the professional nurses. Challenges faced by the professional nurses were fatigue, ill health, resignation and poor HIV/AIDS care to patients admitted with opportunistic infections. The study was conducted at one of the Tshwane district hospitals in Gauteng, South Africa. Instrumental support was explored focusing on tangible assistance provided by the hospital and nurse managers. A qualitative approach with explorative, descriptive and contextual designs was employed. Purposive sampling method was used to select 25 participants who participated in the individual face-to-face interviews. Data gathered from the participants were analysed using Tesch’s eight-step criteria of open-coding techniques. The findings of the study revealed that the hospital and nurse managers did not provide effective tangible support. It was recommended that instrumental support for professional nurses who care for patients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS-related illnesses be effectively provided by the hospital and the nurse managers through the development of a model to deal with instrumental challenges.


acquired immune deficiency syndrome; caring; instrumental support; professional nurses; stressors; patients living with HIV/AIDS; hospital; nurse manager

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