oa Curationis - The views of intensive care nurses regarding short-term deployment : original research



Short-term deployment of nurses is usually used within the hospital units in order to 'balance the numbers' or to cover the shortage of staff in the different units. Often nurses in the intensive care unit (ICU) are sent to go and assist in other units, where there is not enough nursing staff or when their own unit is not busy.

The objective of this study was to explore the views of the ICU nurses regarding short-term deployment to other units.
A qualitative design was used, following interpretivism. The study was conducted in the ICUs of two hospitals in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Data were collected through focus group interviews with a purposive sample of registered nurses working in the selected ICUs, transcribed verbatim and analysed using open coding.
The participants shared a similar view that deployment to other units should be based on a formal agreement, with policies and procedures. Consultation and negotiation are recommended prior to deployment of staff. Management should recognise and acknowledge expertise of ICU nurses in their own speciality area.
The findings call for redesign of a deployment policy that will suit nurses from the speciality areas such as ICU.


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