Outcomes of DENOSA 8th National Congress held in Durban ...

 

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) held a successful 8th National Congress at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban from 13 to 15 March 2019 under the theme: Strengthening Organisational Unity and Cohesion to Enhance Member Service

The congress, made up of 590 voting delegates and guests, discussed thoroughly all issues pertaining to health and nursing in the country, and came out with resolutions on these issues. As a clear sign of unity, the congress also elected unopposed the national office bearers to lead the organisation for the four-year term until 2022. The elected leaders for the organisation are:

·        President: Simon Hlungwani

·        1st Deputy President: Professor Mavis Mulaudzi

·        2nd Deputy President: Thandeka Msibi

·        National Treasurer: Alida Portland 

The congress came out with the following declaration. 

8th DENOSA National Congress Declaration

We, the 590 delegates of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa, representing more than eighty two thousand (+82 000) nurses from across the nine provinces of South Africa gathered in Durban at Olive Convention Centre for the 8th National Congress under the theme “Strengthening Organisational Unity and Cohesion to Enhance Member Service”.  Having reflected and interacted with the inputs from delegates and invited political formations, this congress hereby declare and commit to the principles and objectives as set out in this declaration. 

This congress converges on the eve of national election where the political and social environments are infested with the cloud of ‘politicking promise’ from different political party manifestos’ whose selling point from among the many, is to better the health conditions of our people. At the core of this ‘politicking promise’ is the execution planning which need the human capital to execute. We have indeed assessed the political landscape and resolved to advance our support to the movement that possesses a track record of championing workers issues, the African National Congress. 

The congress has seen it befitting to continue the legacy of one of the pioneers of the nursing profession in Mama Albertina Sisulu, having observed our country celebrate her legacy through the centenary of her birth, as well as Cecilia Makiwane who was the first registered professional black nurse in South Africa.

Mama Albertina Sisulu is a nurse who, throughout her political activism, advanced the interest of our profession and carried with her the hope of a better nursing environment. We have launched an annual Albertina Sisulu and Cecilia Makiwane Leadership Excellence Award in their honour to recognise nurses that emulate their values. We therefore wish to take a moment and acknowledge the immense contribution made by the former leaders of DENOSA as the fore-bearers of our profession and bestowed to them as first recipients of this leadership award for their outstanding guidance throughout the life of DENOSA. This acknowledgement demonstrates that we are inspired by them and shall strive to ensure that we pick up where they left off. The congress also acknowledges the contribution made by nursing stalwarts who played a pivotal role in the establishment and thriving of DENOSA. 

The congress resolved on naming DENOSA buildings and offices after these torch-bearers as a gesture of honour for the great work and sacrifices they have made for the organisation. 

With this declaration, we seek to advance the interest of our constituencies and the fore-bearers of our revolution who have shown how personal actions can make a difference in the world. We are mindful that the resolutions taken here will not be implemented without collaboration and partnership with our own members. We therefore commit that we will mobilise all our members including putting resources behind these resolutions in this new term of office.

This nurses’ parliament deliberated and declared as follows:

On Political Matters 

The congress engaged discussion inputs from COSATU and ANC with a clear resolve that DENOSA as a trade union movement remains a homogenous entity whose primary agenda is to defend our members against the ruthless neoliberal tendencies. The current balance of power in our country is in favour of the Neo liberal policy framework. This capital bias tendency is evident when even the employer puts cost-cutting measures a priority over provision of quality services to our people. The Neo-liberal policy ideologues who are advising government have forced government to make a call to lay off workers in an already reduced workforce in the public service. We say this call is frivolous and we reject it with the contempt it deserves. Our take is that the employer staged a well-disguised massive retrenchment initiative and in the process undermined the legitimate process of collective bargaining. We call on employer to desist from this unwelcome tendency to undermine the collective bargaining process and furthermore call for an urgent tabling of this matter at PSCBC.   

The congress has unambiguously resolved to support ANC in the coming election for a workers biased victory. We sympathetic to any force, be it political, social and economic, that advances the interest of our members.

On the Alliance

After intensive engagement on the state of affairs of each alliance partner, we believe that the ideas of the alliance are still relevant and commit of support to the road towards National Democratic Revolution (NDR).

The congress has resolved to have bilateral talks with the African National Congress to persuade an intervention on issues affecting the nursing profession and nursing education funding model as well as the severe shortage of staff. 

As a nursing profession, we have witnessed poor intervention from a deployed cadre of the ANC in the form of the Minister of Health, and therefore the congress unequivocally called for the recall of the Minister of Health by the ANC. 

The congress has noted and supported the debate at the federation level on who should be the leader of the alliance. The congress supports the position that the alliance must become the political centre as a way to get rid of the big-brother syndrome with the latitude to abuse the alliance for their own selfish interests. 

We share the sentiment that the alliance must be reconfigured, and that the SACP, as the vanguard of the working class, must be able to engage all forces of the left on its resolution to contest state power. 

On COSATU

Congress has unequivocally pronounced its support to remain affiliated to COSATU and furthermore endevour to fully participate in activities and programmes of the federation.  

On the gender question 

We acknowledge the patriarchal nature of our society in general and our profession in particular and therefore intend to support all avenues that seek to reverse gender disparities and assert women as main players in all spheres including political, social, economic and cultural. 

In acknowledging that our membership remains predominantly women, we need to strengthen the gender activism in that we declare to intensify the struggle against abuse of women and children and condemn the harassment and discrimination of sex workers. 

As a sign to waging this struggle genuinely, we commit to expediting the establishment of gender structures within the lower structures of the organisation.  Furthermore, our leadership should reflect the true composition of our gender make-up as an organisation.  

On National Health Insurance 

The NHI initiative is for all intended purposes, a drive to advance universal access of health even to poorest of our communities who can’t afford private health. However we are raising an alarm on the implementation trajectory which may derail NHI and render it another form of privatization. We warn against any tendency to use NHI as an agenda to advance the interest of capital at the expense of quality accessible health care. In a desperate attempt to delay the NHI implementation even further, the private sector has made claims that the NHI bill including the medical aid schemes amendment bill could lead to job losses.   

We reiterate our support to implementation of National Health Insurance as this will bridge the gap between the poor and those who are well-off on health services. We therefore call for the speed implementation of NHI. This call must embrace the need for massive improvement in the healthcare system whose split off will be infrastructure development, human capital improvement, enormous financial capital. Our interest is in realizing that both private and public health care are complimentary in realizing NHI. 

As we confront the inequality, poverty and unemployment, we are mindful of the fact that we need a healthy society to achieve economic growth. We call on the government to increase investment in health human resource through allocation of additional budget to improve the nurses’ salaries and cater for more nurses on the system such that we attain a productive economy.  

As advocates of NHI, we commit to eternal vigilance of the implementation of NHI in close collaboration with the federation COSATU to ensure that the implementation of this noble idea does not get delayed any longer and that no jobs are lost in the process of implementing NHI. 

On Legislative impasse on essential service 

Congress has noted with anger the impasse on determining minimum service agreement. The matter has been on the agenda for over 12 years without any noticeable interest from government to determine the Minimum Service Level Agreement, which has paralysed the process and taken the constitutional right of nurses to strike without protection. We call for the intervention of the ANC’s Health and Education Sub-Committee to solve this issue. 

On Organisational Matters 

The congress interrogated and introspected the progress and challenges faced by the organisation. In its frank assessment of the state of affairs, congress has resolved to implement the resolution of the 7th National Congress of increasing membership subscription. This resolve encapsulated the mitigating factors that will ensure financial viability of the organisation; however the increase took care not to affect the most vulnerable of our members like students and the elderly.  

We commit to intensifying recruitment and member servicing as a way to organize and unify nurses under the banner of DENOSA.

We note the increasing need to organize nurses in the private sector as these cadres continue to work under equally strenuous conditions and yet the sector continues to reap profits and continuously issue out dividends. 

We acknowledge the increasing need to strengthen our governance and policy mechanisms as control measures to ensure smooth running of the organisation for betterment of member service.

The congress has called for an urgent bargaining conference to deal with urgent socio-economic issues affecting nurses.

As means to close the gap and reach out to members on the ground, we commit to put in priority the process of establishing regional offices as a way of taking the union to the members. 

Safety at the workplace 

We have noted with great concern the collapsing state of affairs within our institutions where our nurses are constantly subjected to appalling conditions and direct danger at the workplace without any will to protect them by the employer. We note the minimal intervention of government, shown by the continuing outsourcing of the security service in the country’s health institutions despite the escalation in the attacks of nurses and patients.   

The workplace practice environment should be enabling and we MUST intensify the PPE campaign that addresses among others the security at all workplaces and safety of infrastructure across the board.

We call on the employer to immediately attend to the security matter. We further call for employer to pay danger allowance to all nurses. We further reaffirm our previous resolution that security service in government health facilities should be insourced. 

ON Uniform Allowance 

The congress was clear on the call to revive the image of our profession and the nursing strategy was put in place but was never implemented fully.

The congress has made its unequivocal call that nurses demand the production of uniform for nurses. 

On Leadership and Cadre Development

We have noted a growing lag in the development agenda of our shop-stewards and building consciousness through intensification of training. There is a succinct call to develop DENOSA’s own training manual to talk to the unique need of a nursing cadre. 

We resolve on taking full advantage of the 4th Industrial Revolution in our communication with our members, and undertake to expedite the establishment of digital communication channels to fast-track timeous communication with our members.   

Acting allowance

We call on all our members to stop accepting to act in any position without proper processes being followed. 

Furthermore, there is a growing tendency by employer to exploit our members by allowing them to work temporarily yet perpetually occupy higher position without fair remuneration. We further call on employer to correctly translate our members into correct and funded post.

GEMS

We believe that GEMS has become irrelevant to our members as it is now not effectively serving the members. Our call is for the scheme to go back to its initial mandate or let the membership to the scheme be on a voluntary basis as the scheme no longer serves the interest of members. 

On Housing Allowance

We note the increasing recklessness of PIC in the management of public servants’ retirement savings through poor investment decisions at the time when thousands of public servants continue to live on renting and at the back yards. We call for a review on the investment trajectory and mandate of PIC away from bluntly supporting entities such as SA Home Loans. We furthermore sponsor a motion for investment to be used internally to assist and benefit the local economy as opposed the present trajectory of investing outside the South African economy.

We commit to advancing the principle of collectivism and therefore are dedicated to the building strategic partnership with entities that are sympathetic to our interest.      

On International matters 

We aspire and commit to have DENOSA footing across the country and to create strategic alliance with similar bodies in the region (SADC), in Africa and internationally. We are a key player in the sustenance of regional body like SANNAM. We will not allow such strategic bodies to collapse in our watch.     

Congress has resolved to maintain all its international affiliation with bodies that advances the interest of the profession.  

On Nursing Education 

We note the move to migrate the Nursing Education to the custodianship of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), and the criteria that all nursing education institutions have to satisfy as per the stipulation of the Council for Higher Education. 

The congress has pronounced its commitment to developing the profession such that it can be recognised within the education framework as a SAQA-accredited profession. We are concerned that very few public colleges have been given endorsements to offer nursing programme under the CHE stable while many private nursing colleges have gone through and passed the criteria.   

We commit to engaging the process to transform the nursing profession to be recognised within NQF through partnership with key stakeholders in nursing such as SANC, National Department of Health specifically the Office of the Chief Nursing Officer. 

Balancing unionism and professionalism

Congress noted the importance of balancing the two wings that informed the unique nature of the union that DENOSA has become. The basis of this pronouncement is to keep up with and engage both the professional and labour matters.

Professional development

Having noted the declining state of confidence on the nursing profession in the eye of the public, and the deteriorating quality of healthcare as a result of many challenges that besiege the profession. 

We commit to playing our full advocacy role in defence of the profession by ensuring that nursing ethos remain top agenda to all members of the organisation as well as leaders.

We note with great concern the continuing flourishing of bogus nursing colleges with little intervention from the nursing regulatory body, and call on both government and SANC to develop a comprehensive programme to ensure proper monitoring and prevention of attempts to tarnish the reputation of the profession.

On labour and Socio-economic matters 

We note the proliferation of many trade unions which pose a threat to our membership base. We continue to set up intervention mechanism as a way to improve membership servicing. Our participation at PSCBC has raised mechanism to counter and render useless the small unions through exclusion at the bargaining chambers. 

We commit to making use of this platform to advance the intervention on issues that affect nurses.  

We call for complete absorption of all community service workers and furthermore make a call for a review of this community service policy. 

The lack of will to readily absorb community service nurses after completion created an appetite for the congress to consider phasing out this policy of community service altogether, as it has proven to be exploitative. 

Congress is resolute to engage the Ministry of Health with the view to create immediate intervention on absorption of community service nurses, or scrapping Section 40 of the Nursing Act of South Africa on community service. 

End  

Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)  

For more information, contact: 

 

Cassim Lekhoathi, DENOSA Acting General Secretary

Mobile: 082 328 9671  

Or 

Simon Hlungwani, DENOSA President

Mobile: 082 328 9635 

Website: www.denosa.org.za

Facebook: DENOSA National Page 

Twitter:@DENOSAORG

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DENOSA to hold its 8th National Congress in Durban between 13 and 15 March 2019 ...

REMINDER

MEDIA INVITATION 

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) will be holding its 8th National Congress at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban from 13 to 15 March 2019 under the theme: Revitilizing Organisational Unity and Cohesion to Advance Member Servicing. 

The congress will be attended by more than 600 delegates, which are nurses from across the country, who will deliberate on pertinent nursing issues in the country, namely the severe shortage of staff, poor working conditions, lack of safety in the workplace, shortage of resources and equipment, lack of continuous professional development opportunities as well as non-payment of health workers among many others.  

State President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will address the congress on Day One (13 March). Minister of Public Service and Administration, as the employer of government, Ayanda Dlodlo, will address the congress as well (day to be confirmed). To welcome the delegates to Durban will be the Executive Mayor of eThekwini, Zandile Gumede.  

On Day Two, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer from the National Department of Health, Dr Nonhlanhla Makhanya, will address the congress on nursing matters in the country. CEO and Registrar from the South African Nursing Council (SANC), Sizo Mchunu, will present the latest developments from the regulatory body.

Members of the media are cordially invited to attend days one (all day), two (from the morning until lunch-time) and three (after 12h00) of the congress. On Day Three, the congress will announce the newly-elected leadership that will lead the term until 2022 as well as the congress declaration before closure. 

The details of the congress are as follows:   

DATE: 13-15 March 2019 

VENUE: Olive Convention Centre, Durban    

CONTACT PERSON FOR MEDIA RSVP: Sibongiseni Delihlazo: 072 584 4175; E-mail: sibongisenid@denosa.org.za

Or 

Reneilwe Maluleke: 065 964 6615  

End 

Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) 

For more information, contact:

Sibongiseni Delihlazo, DENOSA Communications Manager 

Mobile: 072 584 4175 

Website: www.denosa.org.za

Facebook: DENOSA National Page 

Twitter: @DENOSAORG

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DENOSA to hold its 8th  National Congress in Durban between 13 and 15 March 2019 ...

MEDIA ALERT  

Wednesday, 06 March 2019  

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) will be holding its 8th National Congress at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban from 13 to 15 March 2019 under the theme: Revitilizing Organisational Unity and Cohesion to Advance Member Servicing. 

The congress will be attended by more than 600 delegates, which are nurses from across the country, who will deliberate on pertinent nursing issues in the country, namely the severe shortage of staff, poor working conditions, lack of safety in the workplace, shortage of resources and equipment, lack of continuous professional development opportunities as well as non-payment of health workers among many others.  

State President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will address the congress on Day One (13 March). Minister of Public Service and Administration, as the employer of government, Ayanda Dlodlo, will address the congress as well (day to be confirmed). To welcome the delegates to Durban will be the Executive Mayor of eThekwini, Zandile Gumede.  

On Day Two, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer from the National Department of Health, Dr Nonhlanhla Makhanya, will address the congress on nursing matters in the country. CEO and Registrar from the South African Nursing Council (SANC), Sizo Mchunu, will present the latest developments from the regulatory body.

Members of the media are cordially invited to attend days one (all day), two (from the morning until lunch-time) and three (after 12h00) of the congress. On Day Three, the congress will announce the newly-elected leadership that will lead the term until 2022 as well as the congress declaration before closure. 

The details of the congress are as follows:   

DATE: 13-15 March 2019 

VENUE: Olive Convention Centre, Durban    

CONTACT PERSON: Sibongiseni Delihlazo: 072 584 4175 

Or 

Reneilwe Maluleke: 065 964 6615  

End 

Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) 

For more information, contact:

Sibongiseni Delihlazo, DENOSA Communications Manager 

Mobile: 072 584 4175 

Website: www.denosa.org.za

Facebook: DENOSA National Page 

Twitter: @DENOSAORG

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Trauma Nursing Matters...

Evidence based practice: Is cricoid pressure effective in preventing gastric aspiration during rapid sequence intubation in the emergency department?

By Ntombifuthi Jennet Ngiba (BN) (UKZN).

There is on-going change within trauma nursing due to increased research in the area. Practices have been routinely adopted as the norm, but subsequently on further examination proven to be useless and more of a risk to the patient (Moore & Lexington, 2012). Research has brought into question practices or techniques such as the application of cricoid pressure during rapid sequence tracheal intubation. This practise was goaled at preventing the regurgitation of gastric content into the pharynx and subsequent aspiration into the pulmonary tree, but now questioned.

Cricoid pressure was briefly defined by Sellick in 1961 as a method used to reduce the risk of aspiration during the induction phase of anaesthesia. Sellick`s technique was to apply backwards pressure to the cricoid cartilage, compressing the oesophagus against the underlying vertebral body (Ellis, Harris & Zideman 2007; Priebe 2005). In this application of pressure the oesophageal lumen is occluded, preventing the passage of regurgitated gastric content into the pharynx and subsequent aspiration into the pulmonary tree (Stewart et al, 2014). Cricoid pressure is incorporated into the overall approach in reducing the chances of aspiration through rapid sequence induction of anaesthesia (Ellis et al., 2007; Priebe 2005). Over the years rapid sequence induction has been adapted by emergency physicians to allow ventilation as required to prevent hypoxia and subsequently termed “rapid sequence tracheal intubation”. Rapid sequence tracheal intubation (RSTI) is now the most widely used technique for tracheal intubation in the emergency department (ED) and cricoid pressure is taught as a standard component of emergency airway management (Ellis et al., 2007).

Despite inadequate scientific evaluation of the risks and benefits of cricoid pressure it is adopted as an integral component of rapid sequence intubation in EDs. No randomised controlled trials have shown any benefit of its use during rapid sequence intubation (Trethewy, Burrows, Clausen & Doherty, 2012). Furthermore, the application of cricoid pressure may be linked to increased risks to the patient such as  impeding airway management, prolonging intubation time by concealing laryngeal view, inducing nausea/vomiting and oesophageal rupture with excessive force (Ellis et al., 2007; Priebe 2005;Trethewy, et al, 2012). Paradoxically, cricoid pressure may promote aspiration by relaxing the lower part of the oesophagus (Ellis et al., 2007). Some case reports note that tracheal intubation was impeded by cricoid pressure and regurgitation occurred despite application of cricoid pressure, possibly due to its improper application (Trethewy, et al, 2012). According to Bhatia, Bhagat and Sen (2014) the application of cricoid pressure increases the incidence of lateral displacement of the oesophagus from 53% to 91%.

However despite this evidence and the outcome of Trethwy’s (2012) RCT the judicial system appears guided in its judgement by outdated practises. A judge in UK ruled against an anaesthesiologist for failing to apply cricoid pressure to a patient with irreducible hernia who had regurgitated and aspirated. The judge argued that “We cannot assert that cricoid pressure is not effective until trials have been performed, especially as it is an integral part of anaesthetic technique that has been associated with a reduced maternal death rate from aspiration since the 1960's” (Bhatia et al. 2014). Therefore one may say that despite cricoid pressure entering medical practice on limited evidence and only supported by common sense, it somehow remains the practice of choice (Bhatia et al., 2014).

Thus it is about time nurses and doctors embrace evidence-based practice within the emergency department and let go of traditional practice that are proven to do more harm than good. There is still a great need for further evidence-based practice within the emergency department, to investigate the validity of the notion that cricoid pressure prevents regurgitation.

Ntombifuthi Jennet Ngiba is a Professional Nurse at Greytown Hospital.

REFERENCES

Bhatia N, Bhagat H & Sen I. (2014). Cricoid pressure: Where do we stand? J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol, Vol 30 pp 3 – 6.

Ellis D.Y, Harris T & Zideman D. (2007). Cricoid pressure in the emergency department rapid sequence tracheal intubations: a risk-benefit analysis. American College of emergency physicians.Vol 50, pp 653 – 665. 

Moore K & Lexington K.Y (2012). Evidence-based practise guidelines for trauma care. Journal of emergency nursing. Vol 38, pp 401-402.

Priebe H.J, (2005). Cricoid pressure: an alternative view. Elsevier. Germany.

Stewart J.C, Bhananker S, & Ramaiah R. (2014). Rapid-sequence intubation and cricoid pressure. J Crit Illn Inj Sci, Vol 4, pp 42 - 49.

Trethewy C.E, Burrows J.M, Clausen D & Doherty S.R. (2012). Effectiveness of cricoid pressure in preventing gastric aspiration during rapid sequence intubation in the emergency department: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BioMedCentral. Australia. Retrieved 04 August 2016: http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/13/1/17


 

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National changes in nursing training: South African perspectives 2015...

Dr. Respect Mondli Miya,(D.Lit et Phil)

Senior Lecturer: Psychiatry at Durban University of Technology, Department of Nursing Science

 

Nursing is a career of love rooted in rich and fertile soil governed by caring ideologies and philosophies. Individuals within the profession have strong and inexplicable desires to serve and preserve humanity at all cost. The nursing profession drives the health care system and is forever in the forefront of preventing, promoting and management of various diseases.  Nurses have always been there and have survived trials and tribulations. Nursing demands not only the brain for cognitive purposes but a humble heart, selflessness in daily duty execution. An individual without passion for the sick will never survive a minute of nursing’s demanding tasks.

Nursing novices are professionally socialized and groomed on their first day of training. Noble traditions of nursing are gradually unpacked and monitored up to graduation to enhance relevance and dignity of nursing profession. Nursing demands the utmost respect for humanity even after death itself. Most professions have minimum set of working hours yet nursing philosophy calls and promotes dedication beyond duty. Nursing is a way of living not just mere qualification written on papers but lived and experienced charisma. 

Historically, nursing was viewed as a religious vocation and was predominantly religious in nature which explains chapels, and meditation designated facilities utilized for prayers before commencing daily duties in old hospitals. Nursing training in South Africa before 1976 was hospital-based hence the notion of viewing nursing as a “hands-on” career has been accepted nationally and acknowledged by most prolific nursing scholars who remain sceptical to have nursing pitched at a degree level and offered in higher training of education in South Africa.   

Such training exposed and subjected nurses to poor recognition as a career.  Nurses were abused and viewed as medical officers’ hand maids who were good for nothing but to offer a bed pan, bathing the sick, and carry orders as prescribed without being objective. The training at that time was strict and limiting, even the scope of practice was limited and nobody could imagine a degree in nursing or university based nursing teaching and learning. Hospitals mostly trained nurses in general nursing and later midwifery.

Around 1987, nursing in South Africa was gradually introduced in tertiary education system and scope of practice and curriculum were amended. Nursing graduates were introduced to a 4-year degree obtaining general, psychiatry, midwifery and community health nursing. That made older nurses to feel bitter and never fully accepted university graduates as satisfactorily trained. Even medical officers were threatened and witness role change from nurses as hand maids into fully recognized members of the multidisciplinary health team with independent roles and functionality. These changes failed to bridge the gap of scope of practice and remuneration packages. Even to this date, the university and hospital trained nurses earn the same salary and follow same stream of training regulated by the same nursing Act 50 of 1978 as amended with specification stipulated in Regulation 425 (R.425).

The nursing act 33 of 2005 introduced community service of one year post- training for both hospital- and university-trained individuals. Errors still exist within the nursing education such as same recognition of a hospital and university trained graduate have similar scope of practice, universities are allowed to implement R425 differently. For example, some South African universities train students for six months in midwifery while others dedicate two full years for midwifery and three years for community health nursing which is offered for six months in colleges and some universities. The problem in South Africa is that there is one R.425 and implemented differently from one university to the other.

The current health ministry is proposing nursing training restructurization. In the proposal dated 23 July 2015, it recommends reintroduction of the old nursing training system with a hope of extending the nursing training duration and to phase out the R.425 of Act 50 (1978). The current proposal overlooks scope of practice and remuneration packages of such graduates irrespective of their qualification which is an error not even Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) could resolve in 2007. OSD failed to address issues of salaries in the nursing fraternity; an obvious error is that a nursing lecturer is graded as a nursing specialist.

The unresolved question here is: Who teaches the other? And why do they earn same salary if the other is a teacher? Up to the very same date, the public health system continues to fail to distinguish university graduates from hospital nursing graduates yet continues to differentiate auxiliary social worker from a University graduate Social Worker, and experienced Medical Officer from a Master of Medicine graduate. Why not with nursing in South Africa? 

The proposed training changes are as follows: general nursing and midwifery be done in a college over a period of four years without indicating whether that shall be Bachelor of nursing offered in a college which can never materialize as colleges do not offer degrees but universities do. If agreed upon, this will mean degrading the dignity of nursing as a profession over medicine which continues to be offered in the university without interruptions.

According to the proposed plan, nursing training is extended to 9 years (four year of midwifery and general, 18 months of psychiatry and one year of community health) which is unnecessary waste of time for an undergraduate qualification yet medicines years of training have been reduced to 5 years (MBCHB).

 

There is absolutely no need for such drastic changes in the nursing education.  It is alarming to witness MBCHB years of training have been reduced to five years and get paid a satisfactory remuneration package compared to Bachelor of Nursing graduates with stagnant remuneration. The introduction of Masters Degree in Medicines in South Africa is preparing sound clinical researchers and such projects (thesis and dissertations) are evaluated by nursing professors who in turn receive less recognition and degrading salaries compared to MMed graduates.

The South African health system requires the following:

1.     Strong and vocal task team of nursing professors who shall preserve the image and dignity of nursing as a profession and strongly oppose plans to change nursing training.

2.     No college shall be allowed to offer a bachelor of nursing, strictly universities only.

3.     Salary packages to be reviewed and sort clear distinction of a university graduate over a hospital trained graduate.

4.     Revised scope of practice, degree holders be given more opportunity to execute complex clinical procedures and be given better remuneration packages.

5.     Chief Nursing Officer to be more vocal and avoid external influences to disorganise nursing training.

6.     Hospitals to create portfolios and acceptable remuneration packages for all nursing qualifications from a diploma to PHD level.

7.     All South African universities to adopt and implement similar training structure  that is two years of midwifery, two years of psychiatry and two years of community health nursing

8.     Develop a Nursing Ministry by nurses with nurses and for nurses.

9.     MBCHB degree be afforded same status as B.Cur degree thereafter if need be.

10.  South African nursing council to be headed by prolific PHD holders and nursing qualifications be regulated and registered up to PHD level.

11.  Any qualification obtained outside university be regarded as either associate professional nurse and associated medical office until related exam has been endorsed by the regulating body.

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WHY DO WE SAY NURSING IS A CALLING? ...

 
We are professionals, and let us fight to be recognised as such… 
Vuyolwethu Mashamayite - 20150728_073623
By Vuyolwethu Mashamaite 
Ever since I joined nursing in 2005 I have heard nurses say nursing is a ‘calling’ and it's not about money. I couldn't understand why they said so and I still don't.   
I believe that everyone is called by God to be in the profession or job they are doing, unless nurses consider themselves in the same umbrella as ‘Sangomas’ and ‘Preachers’. Those are the people who will leave their profession or jobs and focus on their calling or do both, regardless of whether they are paid or not. 
Perhaps this could be the reason why nurses are under-paid and left to work in extreme unfavourablecircumstances ...because it’s a "Calling".
Don't get me wrong; I have passion and great respect for human life as a nurse. But I cannot keep quiet. Nurses are the most abused professionals by the employer because they consider themselves "called" instead of being employed professionals.
Nurses you are jack of all trades doing everyone's jobs from a cleaner to a doctor but come pay day you are the ones who cry the most because you are underpaid while doing everyone's jobs. I guess it's the consequences of having been “called" instead of being professional.
We feel so comfortable working out of our scope of practice to an extent that we run a risk of performing tasks that we are not equipped to do. When told it's not your scope of practice you tell us of how long you've been doing this and you didn't kill anyone. But the South African Nursing Counci (SANC) is out there nailing nurses and not considering your "calling" but rather your profession and scope of practice.
What hurts the most is the fact that you studied for four years and someone from another discipline who studied the same years is treated and paid better than you. I guess they are professionals and you are in a "calling". 
Nurses, let's STOP hiding behind "CALLING" and start taking our profession seriously. If you don't do it, no one will do it for you. Like it or not we are professionals and let us fight to be recognised as such. 
Vuyolwethu is a nurse based in Kimberley, Northern Cape   
End

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Publications

Nursing Update

         
January 2018

Nursing Update is jointly published by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Afr... More.

Curationis

         
January

Curationis provides a forum for cutting-edge theories and research models related to th... More

About us

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in its current form was established on 5 December 1996.

The organisation was formed through political consensus after the transition to democracy and was mandated by its membership to represent them and unite the nursing profession. Prior to this, the South African Nursing Council (SANC) and the South African Nurses Association (SANA) were statutory bodies which all nurses had to join. It was also important after the transition to democracy to incorp... Read more