The year 2000/2001 was a period with little disruption in the service, with the result that the nursing staff devoted most of their time to patient care.
Due to financial constraints it was not possible to allow overtime payment for any section, except for speciality areas. During the past two years the admission of medical patients in particular increased. This automatically caused an increase in the workload, which reflected heavily on the nurses, lowering their morale even more. However, recently permission was granted to Gauteng hospitals to make use of agency nurses - which will make a lot of difference to staff morale.
To enable the nursing management to cope with the additional workload a decision was made to temporarily combine two surgical wards, which will free approximately 51 beds, which could be used for medical patients. A contract was also negotiated with LifeCare to assess and admit a certain number of the patients to relieve the pressure.
Despite the shortage of nursing staff at Chris Hani Baragwanath the staff has to:
From the newly qualified diploma nurses Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital could offer 60 posts to be filled as from 1 January 2002, hoping that this will reflect on better patient care.
General cleanliness of the hospital is not satisfactory - plans are on hand to utilise the support staff more effectively through programmes of education and training.
During January 2000 the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital Palliative Care Service became fully functional. It was felt for the team to be effective participation and involvement of the ward staff was paramount. Therefore, in order to empower the nurses, a "Link-Nurse" training programme was undertaken. The medical department, inundated with Aids patients, seized this opportunity and made sure that at least 2 nurses from each medical ward received the training.
The Link-Nurses in the Medical Department are also part of the Pfunanai Knitting Project - a voluntary project that keeps the Soweto Hospice patients warm with knitted night socks and blankets.
Intradermal BCG Immunization was introduced on 1 September 2000. During April 2001 it was found that babies were showing adverse reaction to the immunization and it was then decided, by Gauteng Health Department, that only staff that had acquired a competency certificate might immunize the babies. In order to speed up the training process it was later decided that the training of trainers should be started soon. This then commenced on the 10th of September 2001.