n Southern African Journal of Critical Care - Support to critical care nursing personnel

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-8264
  • E-ISSN: 2078-676X



One of the most important conclusions of a research study conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council in the late 1980s was that junior intensive care unit (ICU) nurses bear a heavy burden as a result of staff shortages in the ICU and do not receive sufficient support from nursing service managers. ICU nurses regularly present with work-related problems such as lack of motivation and frustration due to inadequate equipment, and staff turnover is high. Are ICU nurses unhappy because they do not receive enough support? The question arises, 'How do nurses experience the support they receive in the ICU?'

The purpose of this study was to describe and explore the support received by ICU nurses in private hospitals in Gauteng. To answer the research question, a qualitative, descriptive, explorative and contextual research design was followed. The target population was qualified ICU nurses working in private hospitals in Gauteng. A purposeful convenience sampling was done. The sample consisted of 6 nurses working in five different ICUs in different private hospitals in the Gauteng area. The research question put forward to the group was 'Tell me about support in the ICU'. Trustworthiness was ensured and the data obtained from the interview were divided into four categories, namely and and , and . From these categories, guidelines were developed to help support ICU nurses better.

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