oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - A pilot study to determine the profile of recovery room nurses in Johannesburg hospitals : original research
Background: Apart from anecdotal evidence, very little is known of the recovery room nurses in South Africa.
Method: An exploratory, prospective, descriptive pilot study was carried out in the recovery rooms of six Johannesburg hospitals, three academic and three private hospitals, one from each of the major private hospital groups. An appointment was scheduled and data were collected from either the theatre nursing manager, sister in charge of the recovery room or the nursing manager. The data collected reflected a brief profile of the selected recovery rooms and the demographic and education profile of nurses working there in August 2011.
Results: Nurse:patient ratios were difficult to determine. Agency staff was used by one recovery room. The other recovery rooms used their permanent staff to work overtime. All the hospitals used anaesthetic nurses to double up when necessary. Only one of the recovery rooms had a supernumerary anaesthetist available during the day. A total of 49 nurses were working in the six recovery rooms during August 2011. The majority, 95.9% (n = 47), of the recovery room nurses were females and 4.1% (n = 2) were males. The average age of the recovery nurses was 44 years (25-63 years), with a median of 41 years. The experience of the recovery room nurses ranged from one month to 35 years with an average of 8.6 years. The majority of nurses, 57.1% (n = 28), were professional nurses, and 42.9% (n = 21) were enrolled nurses. Of the 28 professional nurses, 32.0% (n = 9) had no postgraduate training. The remaining 19 nurses had the following postgraduate qualifications: management and operating room technique 17.9% (n = 5), critical care 14.3% (n = 4), and education 10.7% (n = 3). The six-month anaesthetic nurse qualification, that is not an official South African Nursing Council-endorsed postgraduate qualification, was held by 35.7% (n = 10) of the professional nurses and 4.8% (n = 1) of the enrolled nurses. All the recovery rooms had an in-service education programme.
Conclusion: There is a need to determine the profile of recovery room nurses in South Africa and to establish an appropriately trained and competent recovery room nursing workforce.
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