Original Research

Perceptions of professional nurses regarding introduction of the Batho Pele principles in State hospitals

Sindiwe James, Thenjiwe M. Miza
Curationis | Vol 38, No 1 | a1128 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v38i1.1128 | © 2015 Sindiwe James, Thenjiwe M. Miza | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 November 2012 | Published: 09 March 2015

About the author(s)

Sindiwe James, Department of Nursing Science, North Campus, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Thenjiwe M. Miza, Livingstone Hospital, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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Background: The South African health care delivery system has shifted focus to primary health care since 1994. For this purpose the Batho Pele principles were introduced. Nurses claim, however, that since the introduction of these principles patients and their families have been making unnecessary and sometimes impossible demands of nursing staff. This article presents the perceptions of the professional nurses regarding the introduction of the Batho Pele principles in their workplace.

Objectives: To describe the perceptions of professional nurses regarding introduction of the Batho Pele principles and to recommend guidelines to facilitate measures to realise the objects of these principles.

Method: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contexual research design was used. Six audio-taped focus group discussions and field notes were used to collect data from purposively sampled participants who have worked in the outpatient departments of hospitals in thePort Elizabeth Hospital Complex. Guba’s model of trustworthiness was used to confirm integrity of the study, whilst the participants were kept anonymous, protected from harm and participated voluntarily. Data analysis was done using Tesch’s data analysis spiral and with the involvement of an independent-coder.

Results: Three themes emerged, revealing that the professional nurses perceived the objectives of the Batho Pele principles as difficult to uphold due to the inadequate planning prior to their implementation. Inadequacy of human and material resources aggravated this perception.

Conclusion: Professional nurses are not happy with how things are in terms of introduction of the Batho Pele principles, but are optimistic of a positive change in the near future.


Professional nurse, Patient care, Perceptions, Managers, Batho-Pele Principles.


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