Strike actions have been a common phenomenon in health care settings for a very long time. Nurses have been participating in those strike actions since they are members of labour unions even though there are serious concerns regarding nurses’ participation. These concerns, among others, include the nobility of the profession, ethical considerations and the nurses’ pledge of service. These concerns pose challenges to nurses, especially in specialized areas, because the nurses working in those areas, render nursing care to the most vulnerable patients.
AIM: The aim of this study is to explore the lived experiences of nurses in specialized areas regarding their participation in strike actions.
METHODOLOGY: A qualitative research design using an interpretative phenomenology approach was followed in a tertiary hospital in Emalahleni, Nkangala district in Mpumalanga Province. Collection of data was done by in-depth interviews, with a purposively selected sample of nurses in specialized areas. Sample size was 10 participants. Data analysis was done using Colaizzi’s (1978) data analysis framework from the in-depth interviews conducted on the lived experiences of the study participants during strike actions.
FINDINGS: The findings of the study provided an understanding of the strike action as an endorsed activity within the international and national labour laws. Four themes namely, Ethical and moral effects of strike actions, living with fear, “Amagundwane”, “we will deal with you”; and Strike actions as an economic weapon emerged from the analysis and were guided by critical theory. from this study contribute to the body of knowledge in labor unions regarding the importance and value of specialized nursing care. The findings will be published in journals, and shared with the management of the specific hospital, study participants and labour unions.
CONCLUSION: Strike actions are still a common phenomenon and nurses will always participate in them because they are also members of labour unions, but the was a need to explore how they experience strike actions. The study concluded that most of the study participants were not willing to participate in strike actions, but were compelled by circumstances to do so, as they were identified in the four themes.
Dissertation (MCur)--University of Pretoria, 2019.