Nurses’ Experiences of Adverse Events Management at a Public Hospital, Gauteng Province

  •  Elizabeth Malefu Nkosi    


BACKGROUND: Involvement in adverse events can be a traumatic experience that leaves the nurses with professional and personal distress. Some feel as though they have failed the patient doubting their nursing skills. While the effects of the event can be distinctively evident on the patient and hospital, the nurses in question often suffer in silence. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the nurses’ experiences of adverse events management at a public hospital, and to develop recommendations to address them.

METHODS: A qualitative, phenomenological and contextual research design was used to explore and describe the nurse’s experiences of management of adverse events at this public hospital in Gauteng, South Africa. A total of 18 professional nurses who met the inclusion criteria were purposively sampled. Data was collected by means of in-depth semi structured individual interviews and documented field notes. An audio tape recorder was used with the participants’ consent to capture the participant’s responses. Data was analyzed using Tesch’s open coding method. Ethical principles to protect the rights of the participants were adhered to, and the criteria of trustworthiness was ensured.

RESULTS: Findings of the study revealed that participants experienced negative management of adverse events. Three sub- themes emerged namely: inconsistency in the reporting and recording of adverse events, lack of managerial support and unplanned job rotation used as punishment following the events.

CONCLUSION: Involvement in adverse events has a negative impact on the nurses’ wellbeing as well as patient care. Management should make efforts to promote awareness, implement positive management of adverse events, ensure consistency in the reporting and recording of adverse events including the provision of managerial support, and planned job rotation.

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