This study describes the personal experience of heath care workers after a needle stick injury. The process of enquiry is embedded in a post modernistic ecosystemic perspective to elicit common themes in the health care workers’ (HCW) experiences of a Needle stick injury (NSI). Themes that emerged related mainly to the participants experience after having had a NSI. In the HCW environment HIV/AIDS is very well known disease. It is ironic that the HCW system at large is in denial regarding the dangers which the HCW’s face on a day to day basis working in a ‘mine field’ where every patient is a potential life threat to the HCW. From an ecosystemic stance one can clearly see the ecological principle at play. The HCW system seems to be stuck in a negative feedback process as the status quo is maintained by the defence/coping mechanisms. Adaptation seems to be limited. This inability to compensate leads to the disillusionment of the HCW who has to use ‘acceptable’ defence/coping mechanisms to deal with the trauma of being threatened by HIV/AIDS. The researcher found it constructive to use psychodynamic language, as defence mechanisms are psychodynamic concepts, to describe the process of the HCW system. As Keeney (1983) said that we are not surrounded, in a world of opposition, but rather in a realm of both/and dichotomies. The one cannot exit without, nor be discarded for, the other. Therefore, it could be suggested that an understanding of both systems and psychodynamic concepts may be a helpful tool in understanding and describing the processes of human interaction within an ecosystemic framework.
Dissertation (MA (Counselling Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2007.