Health Systems and Policy Research

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A Qualitative Exploration of Transitional Challenges Faced by Intern-nurses at Labasa Hospital, Fiji

Devina Gaundan and Masoud Mohammadnezhad

Introduction and aim: The transition of intern nurses into a full time work environment poses a lot of challenges. These challenges have an impact on the professional lives and competency of intern-nurses. This study aimed to identify the transitional challenges faced by intern-nurses at Labasa Hospital.

Methodology: This is a qualitative phenomenological study conducted at Labasa Hospital, Fiji. The inclusion criteria for selection of participants required intern nurses to be currently employed at Labasa Hospital and be of any gender or ethnicity. The exclusion criteria comprised of nurses who did not complete internship at Labasa hospital or completed internship more than 5 years before the commencement of this study and nurses who were unwilling to participate in the interview. Data was collected through a semi-structured in depth interview of a convenient sample 22 intern-nurses. The interviews were conducted at Labasa Hospital on a one to one basis. Each interview lasted between 40 to sixty minutes. The interview data was transcribed verbatim and interpreted using thematic analysis.

Results: The participants of this study were between 22 and 26 years old. One participant was of the 46. 12 of the 22 participants had completed their internship at Labasa hospital and working at various units while 10 participants were currently working as intern-nurses. Some challenges identified through thematic analysis of interview data were, bullying, exhaustion, death and dying, deployment and internship log book. The subthemes were further divided into categories. The categories reflecting bullying was being bossed round, exclusion, belittling, verbal abuse and marginalizing. Similarly, the two categories that describe exhaustion are increased workload and fatigue. The subtheme death and dying is indicated by death, palliative clients and CPR, while deployment was categorized as to other wards and to retrieve ambulance cases. Finally, time consuming, comprehensive and research proposal presentation were used to classify the subtheme internship log book.

Conclusion: Healthcare today poses a lot challenges for the intern-nurses, some of which have been identified through this study. The nursing leaders need to adapt an attitude of change in order to make changes for a smooth transition of intern nurses in order to contribute towards strengthening of nursing in Fiji.