Nurse shortages and issues with the training of nurses have been making headlines in recent weeks, with some referring to a ‘nursing crisis’ in South Africa. After attending a recent conference hosted by the South African Nursing Council, Thabo Molelekwa dug deeper in search of clarity on where the bottlenecks are and what can be done about them.
In South Africa, a newly qualified professional nurse often has great difficulties when entering the clinical practice after completion of their studies. By applying a preceptorship model, newly qualified nurses may experience a positive transition period, improving their clinical competence, argues Warriodene Hansen.
Lecturers doing administrative work, nursing student accommodation found to be uninhabitable, frequent break-ins at some campuses, an exodus of staff since 2017, and some campuses with no students – are among the challenges at Lilitha nursing college in the Eastern Cape that the provincial legislature’s health committee flagged after an oversight visit. Luvuyo Mehlwana reports.
Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union says legal and regulatory obstacles are stalling the training of qualified nurses in South Africa – something the country can ill afford. Thabo Molelekwa spoke to union members, some nurses, and nurse educators, as well as the South African Nursing Council, to unpack how nurse training in South Africa has changed and affected the output of nurse graduates.
Based on figures from the national Department of Health over 107 000 non-emergency or elective surgeries were put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. But challenges in addressing surgical backlogs were there before COVID-19. Alicestine October asked some local experts how surgical care can be better coordinated in South Africa.
Nurses make up a large part of the healthcare workforce in South Africa, but almost half of them are set to retire in the next 15 years. This suggests existing shortages of nurses will become even greater unless we take concrete steps to boost nurse training and retention. Elna Schütz reports.
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic many medical interns in South Africa had a tough time, often working long hours and with little oversight or support. Chris Bateman spoke to interns and junior doctors in public hospitals and tag-on COVID-19 facilities, who are performing tasks of porters, auxiliary nurses, and liaising with anxious relatives, instead of getting the required hands-on, supervised learning.
A recent study published in The Lancet medical journal suggests that employing more nurses can result in cost savings double the cost of employing the additional nurses. The study was conducted in Australia but may well have important implications for nursing in South Africa. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
On 17 February Sr Milanie Bennett administered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Bienne Huisman tracked her down to learn more about her long journey to this historical moment.
New World Health Organization guidance released this week endorses the wider use of chest X-rays and artificial intelligence for tuberculosis detection. Before these technologies can be fully utilised in South Africa, some regulatory and other issues will first have to be sorted out. Catherine Tomlinson reports.