Operational Managers’ Experiences Regarding Supportive Supervision at Primary Healthcare Facilities in the North West Province, South Africa
Keywords:primary healthcare; operational managers; supportive supervision; supervision
A lack of supportive supervision of operational managers is a disturbing phenomenon in the management of primary healthcare facilities in developing countries. The North West province of South Africa is not exempt from a lack of supportive supervision of operational managers. This occurs despite the burden of disease and a high demand for the provision of quality services. The study explored and described experiences of operational managers regarding supportive supervision by local area managers in the facilities of the North West province. Operational managers’ perceptions of how supportive supervision can be facilitated effectively were also described. A qualitative, descriptive, exploratory, and contextual study was conducted. The population comprised operational managers who worked for at least one year in the primary healthcare facilities. Purposive sampling was used and fundamental ethical principles underlying the protection of human participants were adhered to. Four semi-structured in-depth focus group interviews were conducted in the four districts of North West. The analysis of data followed Tesch’s method of content analysis. The first theme that surfaced concerned the participants’ experiences of factors related to compromised critical aspects of supportive supervision. The second theme embodied experiences of factors related to a lack of the qualities and competencies of a supportive supervisor. Perceptions of how effective supportive supervision of operational managers can be facilitated constituted the third theme. Based on the results, it was apparent that supportive supervision of operational managers in primary healthcare facilities should be enhanced.
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