Exploring Professional Nurses’ Use of the Nursing Process at Selected Public Hospitals in Limpopo, South Africa
Keywords:Keywords: assessment, implementation, nursing process, professional nurse, public hospital
The nursing process is regarded as a systematic approach in which professional nurses use problem-solving to identify, plan and implement nursing interventions to enhance quality patient care. The steps of the nursing process include assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation. However, nurses’ effective and efficient use of the nursing process steps in public hospitals still poses a challenge due to several factors. The current study is significant to nursing practice as the nursing process remains a standard of nursing practice for hospitals to provide quality patient care. The purpose of the study was to explore professional nurses’ use of the assessment and implementation steps of the nursing process at selected public hospitals in the Vhembe District, Limpopo, South Africa. A qualitative, phenomenological, descriptive, explorative and contextual research design was used. Non-probability purposive sampling was used to select professional nurses who were using the nursing process in the nursing care units until data saturation was reached with 13 participants. The data was collected using semi-structured one-on-one interviews using an interview guide, and then analysed using Tesch’s open-coding method where themes and sub-themes emerged. The study found that the participants’ initial assessment of patients during admission is an achievable performance, while implementation of the set nursing intervention is still a challenge on different levels. It is recommended that a problem-based learning approach be made a compulsory practical teaching method in order to equip nurses with the knowledge of the nursing process at all nursing education institutions.
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