Original Research

Challenges experienced by health care professionals working in resource-poor intensive care settings in the Limpopo province of South Africa

Hulisani Malelelo-Ndou, Dorah U. Ramathuba, Khathutshelo G. Netshisaulu
Curationis | Vol 42, No 1 | a1921 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v42i1.1921 | © 2019 Hulisani Malelelo-Ndou, Dorah U. Ramathuba, Khathutshelo G. Netshisaulu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 February 2018 | Published: 26 March 2019

About the author(s)

Hulisani Malelelo-Ndou, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
Dorah U. Ramathuba, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
Khathutshelo G. Netshisaulu, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Providing optimal care to critically ill patients poses challenges in resource-poor settings because of the lack of equipment, inadequately trained personnel and limited infrastructure.

Objectives: This study explored challenges experienced by health care professionals working in resource-poor intensive care units.

Method: A qualitative, explorative, descriptive design was used. The population comprised nurses and doctors working in an intensive care unit of one hospital in the Limpopo province of South Africa. A purposive sample was selected and 17 semi-structured interviews were conducted. Data were analysed using Tesch’s method. Ethical considerations were adhered to.

Results: Participants experienced challenges related to provision of suboptimal patient care, the challenge of non-adherence to protocols and/or instructions and the challenge of practising beyond the scope of practice.

Conclusion: Lack of resources resulted in providing suboptimal intensive patient care. Patients were prone to infections and their safety might be compromised.


Keywords

health care professionals; intensive care units; critically ill patients; resource-poor intensive care units

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