SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.31 issue1 author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google



On-line version ISSN 2223-6279
Print version ISSN 0379-8577

Curationis vol.31 n.1 Pretoria  2008




Working conditions that contribute to absenteeism among nurses in a provincial hospital in the Limpopo Province



M NyathiI; K JoosteII

IMA Cur Student. University of South Africa
IIAssociate Professor. University of Johannesburg





Absenteeism results in an increased workload for nurses who stand in for colleagues and can lead to situations in which a lack of motivation among nurses and a lowering of the quality of patient care may occur. The researcher observed that certain conditions, such as inflexible working schedules, were given as reasons for the absenteeism in units in a provincial hospital. A non-experimental, descriptive, quantitative study was undertaken. The purpose of the article was to describe the working conditions that contribute to absenteeism among the professional and sub-professional nurses at a provincial hospital in the Limpopo province of South Africa.
The sample included 107 professional nurses and 163 sub-professional nurses who voluntarily agreed to participate in the study. A questionnaire was used to collect data, which was analysed by using descriptive and inferential statistics.
The findings of this study indicated that personal and managerial characteristics, and organisational and working conditions may lead to absenteeism in the workplace. This article focuses on the working conditions that are constraints, namely inadequate group cohesion, inadequate delegation of autonomy, role ambiguity, ineffective routinisation and the effect of the workload in the workplace. Recommendations are made for improving working conditions to combat absenteeism among nurses. The limitations of this study are highlighted.

Keywords: absenteeism, workplace, nurses, working conditions



“Full text available only in PDF format”




ADAMS, A & BOND, S 2000: Hospital nurses' job satisfaction, individual and organizational characteristics. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 32(3): 536-543.         [ Links ]

ALLGOOD, C; O'ROURKE, K; VAN DERSLICE, J & HARDY, MA 1999: Job satisfaction among nursing staff in a military health care facility. Military Medicine. 165(10):757-761.         [ Links ]

BAGUMA, P 2001: Predictors of absenteeism among Ugandan public officers. Journal of Psychology in Africa. 11(2): 185-199.         [ Links ]

BENNETT, H 2002: Employee commitment: the key to absence management in local government? Leadership and Organizational Development Journal. 23(8): 1-19.         [ Links ]

BORDA, RG & NORMAN, U 1997: Testing a model of absence and intent to stay in employment: a study of registered nurses in Malta. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 34(5): 375-384.         [ Links ]

BRINK, HI 1996: Fundamentals of research methodology for health care professionals. Cape Town: Eppindust II.         [ Links ]

BRINK, PJ & WOOD, MJ 1998: Advanced design in nursing research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.         [ Links ]

BUNCHAN, J & O'MAY, F 1998: Nursing supply and demand: Reviewing evidence. Nursing Times. 94(26): 60-63.         [ Links ]

BURKE, RJ & GREENGLASS, ER 1999: Effect of hospital restructuring on full time and part time nursing staff in Ontario. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 37(2000): 163-167.         [ Links ]

BURNS, N & GROVE, SK 2003: The practice of nursing research, conduct, critique and utilization. Philadelphia: Saunders.         [ Links ]

BYDAWELL, M 2000: Managing people who don't come to work. People Dynamics. 18(4): 15-19.         [ Links ]

COLLINS, K; JONES, ML; MCDONNELL, A; READ, S; JONES, R & CAMERON, A 2000: Do new roles contribute to job satisfaction and retention of staff in nursing and professions allied to medicine? Journal of Nursing Management. 8(1): 3-12.         [ Links ]

CONCISE OXFORD DICTIONARY 1995. 7th edition. New York. Oxford.         [ Links ]

DE BOER, EM; BAKKER, AB; SYROIT, JE & SCHAUFELI, VVB 2002: Unfairness at work as a predictor of absenteeism. Journal of Organizational Behaviour. 23(2): 181-197.         [ Links ]

ERICKSON, RJ; NICHOLSON, L & RITTER, C 2000: Family influence on absenteeism: Testing an expanded process model. Journal of Vocational Behaviours. 57(2): 246-272.         [ Links ]

GAUDINE, AP & SAKS, AM 2001: The effect of an absenteeism feedback intervention on employee absence behavior. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 2(1): 15-29.         [ Links ]

GELLATLY, IR & LUCHA, AA 1998: Personal and organizational determinants of perceived absence norms. Human Relations. 51(8): 1085-1102.         [ Links ]

GRANT, G; NOLAN, M; MAGUIRE, B & MELHUISH, IE 1995: Factors influencing job satisfaction among nurses. British Journal. 3(12): 615-620.         [ Links ]

HEMINGWAY, MA & SMITH, CS 1999: Organisational climate and occupational stressors as predictors of withdrawal behaviours and injuries in nurses. Journal of Occupational Nursing. 72(3): 285-299.         [ Links ]

HIRSCHFELD, RR; SCHMITT, LP & BEDEIAN, AG 2002: Job-content perceptions, performance-reward expectancies, and absenteeism among low-wage public-sector clerical employees. Journal of Business and Psychology. 16(4): 553-564.         [ Links ]

JOHNSON, PR & INDVIK, J 1997: The scourge of the workplace: Depression at work. Journal of Workplace Learning. 9(1): 1-5.         [ Links ]

KASS, SJ; VODANOVICH, SJ & CALLENDER, A 2001: State-trait boredom: Relationship to absenteeism, tenure, and job satisfaction. Journal of Business and Psychology. 16(9): 317-327.         [ Links ]

KAY, J 1999: Health promotion: ensuring the health of the nurse. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 13(18): 49-53.         [ Links ]

MATRUNOLA, P 1996: Is there a relationship between job satisfaction and absenteeism? Journal of Advanced Nursing. 23:827-834.         [ Links ]

MCGILTON, KS & PRINGLE, DM 1999: The effect of perceived and preferred control on nurses' job satisfaction in long term care environments. Research in Nursing and Health, 22(3): 252-261.         [ Links ]

MCHUGH, M 2001 : Employee absence: an impediment to organizational health in local government. International Journal of Public Sector Management. 14(1): 1-10.         [ Links ]

MCNEESE-SMITH, DK 1997: The influence of manager behavior on nurses' job satisfaction, productivity, and commitment. Jona 27(9): 47-55.         [ Links ]

MNGOMEZULU, T 2001: Global migration of nurses. Nursing Update. 25(9): 39.         [ Links ]

MZOLO, B 2001: Global migration of nurses: A vexing problem. Nursing Update. 25(9): 38.         [ Links ]

PARKER, PA & KULIK, JA 1995: Burnout, self- and supervisor-related job performance, and absenteeism among nurses. Journal of Behavioural Medicine. 18(6):581-599.         [ Links ]

PAYNE, D 1999: Recovery time. Nursing Times. 94(3): 14-15.         [ Links ]

POLIT, DF & HUNGLER, BP 1997: Nursing research principles and methods. Philadelphia: Lippincott.         [ Links ]

POUSETTE, A & HANSE, JJ 2002: Job characteristics as a predictor of ill-health and sickness absenteeism in different occupational types - a multigroup structural equation modelling approach. Work and Stress. 16(3): 229-250.         [ Links ]

QURESHI, K 2000: Case studies in nursing management: Strategies for managing staff time and attendance. Seminars for Nurse Managers. 8(4): 174-177.         [ Links ]

ROWLAND, S & ROWLAND, L 1997: Nursing administrative handbook. 4(h edition. Maryland: Aspen.         [ Links ]

SAKSVIK, PO & NYTRO, K 2001: Improving subjective health and reducing absenteeism in a natural work life-intervention. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. 42(1): 17-24.         [ Links ]

SANTOS, SR & COX, K 2000: Workplace adjustment and intergenerational differences between matures, boomers, and Xers. Nursing Economics. 18(1): 7-13.         [ Links ]

SARUDI, D 2000: Inbox: Who's minding the hospital? Absenteeism soars. Health and Hospital Network. 74 (4): 14.         [ Links ]

SHADER. K,- BROOME, ME; BROOME, CD; WEST, ME & NASH, M 2001: Factors influencing satisfaction and anticipated turnover for nurses in an academic medical center. Jona, 31(4): 210-216.         [ Links ]

SOUTH AFRICA (Republic) 1978: Regulation R 2598, Nursing Act (Act 50 of 1978, as amended). Pretoria: Government Printer.         [ Links ]

SULLIVAN, EJ & DECKER, PJ 1992: Effective management in nursing. California: Addison-Wesley Nursing.         [ Links ]

TAUNTON, RL; HOPE, K; WOODS, CQ & BOTT, MJ 1995: Predictors of absenteeism among hospital staff nurses. Nursing Economics. 13(4): 217-224.         [ Links ]

TIME 10 March 2003:42.         [ Links ]

TRINKOFF, AM; STORR, CL & LIPSCOMB JA 2001: Physically demanding work and inadequate sleep, pain medication use, and absenteeism in registered nurses. Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine. 43(4):355-363.         [ Links ]

VAN DER WALT, R 1999: Don't take the ostrich approach to absenteeism. People Dynamics. 17(11): 48-51.         [ Links ]

VAN DIERENDONCK, D; LE BLANC, PM & VAN BREUKELEN, W 2001: Supervisory behavior, reciprocity and subordinates absenteeism. Leadership and Organizational Development Journal. 23(3): 1-9.         [ Links ]

WESTMAN, M & ETZION, D 2001: The impact of vacation and job stress on burnout and absenteeism. Psychology and Health. 16(5): 595-606.         [ Links ]

WILLS, S 1999: Speaking out - job satisfaction and morale are the foremost factors affecting retention. Nursing Times. 95(38): 21.         [ Links ]

WING, M 1999: Nursing makes you sick. Nursing Times. 95(7): 24-25.         [ Links ]

WOOD, G 1998: Absenteeism: Worse workplace goodwill wanes. Productivity SA, 24(5): 26-28.         [ Links ]



University of Johannesburg
Tel: (011) 559 2857 Fax ;(011) 559 2257

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License