Non-nursing tasks, nursing tasks left undone and job satisfaction among professional nurses in South African hospitals


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Abstract

AimTo investigate the relationship between non-nursing tasks (NNTs), nursing tasks left undone (NTLU) and job satisfaction among professional nurses (PNs) in South Africa (SA).BackgroundThis study adds to the international debate about the relationship between non-nursing tasks, nursing tasks left undone and job satisfaction by studying the variables at individual nurse and hospital unit level.MethodA cross-sectional survey design of 1166 PNs in 60 medical and surgical units in 55 private hospitals and seven public hospitals.ResultsNationally, the three main non-nursing tasks performed were clerical duties (M = 1.81), arranging discharge referrals and transport (M = 1.38) and performing non-nursing care (M = 1.31), while the main nursing tasks left undone were comfort/talk with patients (62.2%), educating patients and family (57.9%) and develop/update nursing care plans/pathways (51.6%). Nursing tasks left undone were only related to three non-nursing tasks, and job satisfaction correlated most highly with nursing tasks left undone.ConclusionProfessional nurses conduct many non-nursing tasks, and leave several important nursing tasks left undone. Nursing tasks left undone cause the greatest degree of job dissatisfaction amongst professional nurses.Implications for nursing managementRole overlapping and work performed by professional nurses below their skill level should be identified and re-organised; support services should be employed and efficiently used.

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