Determining the extent of absenteeism by nurses in De Aar Hospital

Hlomela, Nosipho
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Absenteeism in hospitals causes an increased workload for nursing staff members who have to stand in for their colleagues who do not turn up for work. This leads to poor quality of nursing care and a lack of motivation amongst nurses. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent and reasons for absenteeism in De Aar Hospital. The study sample included all nursing personnel (50) within the hospital because of the small number of nurses within the institution. A descriptive study was conducted using a retrospective review of personnel records for the period January 2008 - 30 June 2009. In hospitals, nursing is the largest workforce and has numerous tasks / activities which require scientific knowledge and technical competence from nursing professionals. Absenteeism by nurses working in hospitals is a big concern because it disorganises the work routine, it causes dissatisfaction to workers who are overburdened by tasks of those who are absent. Absenteeism also lowers the quality of care for patients.