The number of new graduates greatly affects the existence of any profession and for the nursing profession this rings very true. However, in this caring and nurturing profession many undergraduate nursing students indicate that they consider leaving the profession due to exposure to intra-professional violence. Intra-professional violence may take many forms, is perpetrated by different individuals and have negative effects on patients, staff and institutions therefore it should be identified and managed. In South Africa it has, so far, been a topic which has not received much attention. Purpose Determine the presence of intra-professional violence experienced by undergraduate nursing students in South Africa and then create an awareness of intra-professional violence to eliminate the occurrence thereof. Design A quantitative, non-experimental, explorative and descriptive design was used. Methods The data was collected by means of a questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed to undergraduate nursing students at nine NEI in South Africa. Findings Although characteristics of oppressed group behaviour are present in undergraduate nursing students it to a low extent. Undergraduate nursing students are experiencing intra-professional violence in the clinical learning environment from different perpetrators. The most likely perpetrator is the registered nurse. The intra-professional violence does cause stress but are deemed controllable according to the undergraduate nursing students. Furthermore the results show that the presence of stress results in an increased control of intra-professional violence. The most likely coping mechanism for intra-professional violence is to do nothing. Conclusion The findings correlated with international results and indicate that intra-professional violence is experienced by undergraduate nursing students in South Africa. Oppressed group behaviour is a contributing factor, but is not the sole cause. Undergraduate nursing students do need education about intra-professional violence and engaging coping mechanisms. Clinical relevance If intra-professional violence is controlled, interpersonal relationships can improve. This would create an environment in which learning can be promoted and undergraduate nursing students will be able to develop their clinical skills with confidence. Furthermore, attrition will decline and nursing shortages can be countered.
Dissertation (MCur)--University of Pretoria, 2012.