South Africa has one of the world’s worst Tuberculosis (TB) epidemics. Several interventions were instituted by the Department of Health to manage TB and, regrettably, people still die from the disease. The community Health nurses provide care to people diagnosed with TB in facilities that have low staffing ratios with increased workload and responsibilities. Objective: This paper explores and describes the experiences of community health nurses working in a TB work environment. Method: A qualitative, descriptive, phenomenological approach was used to investigate the experiences of community health nurses in the TB work environment. A purposive sampling was used and consisted of twenty nurses. Unstructured interviews were conducted at an urban clinic, a semi-urban clinic and a rural clinic to gather data. The researcher followed the steps of the Colaizzi process of data analysis. Findings: Four themes were identified and discussed. These themes include fear of being infected with TB, control of infection, defaulting TB treatment, and screening services. Themes were supported with literature during discussion. Conclusion: The study concluded that the participants’ fear of contracting TB was attributed to delayed diagnosis of TB patients, the patients’ ignorance regarding TB transmission and community health nurses with chronic diseases and interacting with undiagnosed TB patients. Compromised TB infection control measures, such as failure to wear protective masks, was revealed by several participants. Recommendations for the Community Nursing Management and Nursing Education have been clearly described.
Dissertation (MCur Nursing Science)--University of Pretoria, 2017.