Preventing burnout in enrolled nursing students at entry level
Lethoko, Elizabeth Mapitso
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An enrolled nursing student is any person who is registered with the South African Nursing Council to undergo training as enrolled nurse. In this study enrolled nursing student referred to a person registered for two years to undergo staff nurse course. Enrolled nursing students need to obtain clinical exposure under the supervision of the professional nurse. Globally, nurses have been working under stressful conditions in the public sector that predispose them to burnout. Enrolled nursing students as part of the workforce enter clinical areas already facing challenges such as lack of materials, under-staffing, poor communication, conflicts, negative attitudes of permanent staff and low morale. It is in these circumstances that enrolled nursing students may experience burnout. However, what is important is for organisations to keep burnout under control. Different methods were suggested to decrease/prevent burnout in enrolled nursing students at entry level, but no research could be found on preventing burnout in enrolled nursing students at entry level in the Free State Province. The objectives of the research were thus to explore and describe the perceptions of enrolled nursing students at entry level on burnout and on the prevention of burnout. Research design: A descriptive qualitative inquiry ensured access to rich information regarding preventing burnout in enrolled nursing students at entry level. Data collection: Semi-structured focus group interviews and field notes were used. Enrolled nursing students at entry level were participants in this study. A total of 24 participants out of 67 enrolled nursing students were interviewed in three government nursing schools in the Free State Province. Three semi-structured focus group interviews were held. Data analysis: Transcripts of focus group interviews were analysed by means of content analysis and by scrutinizing field notes. Themes and sub-themes were categorised to clarify the results, and literature integration was used to confirm the research findings. Research findings and conclusions: Five main themes with sub-themes were identified, indicating that enrolled nursing students appeared to be in distress in their clinical placements. The main conclusions were that the perceptions of enrolled nursing students at entry level are closely related to the clinical setting, education and training, lecturers and themselves; that they are in need of guidance, support and a conducive learning environment to prevent burnout and that they are in need of empowerment. Recommendations to foster a clinical environment that is supportive and educative for the attainment of their goals were formulated as part of recommendations for nursing practice and nursing education. Recommendations for further research were also formulated.
- Health Sciences