Professional nurses’ perceptions on quality patient care in one of the Eastern Cape state hospitals

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University of Fort Hare


The focus of this study was to explore the perceptions of professional nurses in the quality of care rendered by nurses in the public hospitals. Nursing is a challenging, demanding, and yet fulfilling profession, whose goal is to provide quality care to individuals, families and communities. However, there are inconsistencies regarding the quality of care rendered by nurses in the public hospitals. The media and the public portray nurses as providing poor quality care in the health care facilities. Conversely, the nurses view that they are doing their best, considering the challenging circumstances under which they work in public institutions. The study followed a qualitative approach and an exploratory descriptive design. A purposive sample of 13 professional nurses participated in the study. The sample size was not pre-determined. Data were collected until data saturation, when the interviews yielded no new information. The study was conducted in a state hospital in the Eastern Cape, using an interview guide. Responses were recorded using a tape recorder. No incentives were given to participants. Data were collected and analysed following the Tesch’s method. Prior to conducting the study, the researcher obtained ethical clearance from the University of Fort Hare research ethics committee. The perceptions of the professional nurses who participated in this study were inconsistent. The majority pointed out that the quality of patient care was deteriorating which means the patient care is poor. whereas some participants indicated that the quality of patient care was still the same; it had not changed or deteriorated, The contributing factors to the poor quality patient care were indicated as; shortage of staff, shortage of resources such as equipment, inadequate empowerment of staff, insufficient training of students, staff arriving late for duties, lack of passion their work, skipping and missing of routines, support service that was not working hand in hand with the nursing staff, increased hospitalization of patients and the Eastern cape Department of Health failing to remunerate the nurses as promised.



Caregivers -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape, Primary health care -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape, Public health -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape, Nursing services -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape, Nursing -- South Africa -- Eastern Cape