Exploring nurses’ experiences of in-service training at a hospital in Swaziland.
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This study explores nurses’ experiences of in-service training at a hospital in Swaziland. In-service training plays a vital role in the improvement and preservation of health personnel capabilities to offer excellent services and in further realising health coverage and health results worldwide. The study was prompted by that nurses’ experience of in-service training is a topic that has not been fully explored in Swaziland and the personal rationale for the study was that researcher is a nurse by profession. The study applied a qualitative approach, the interpretivist paradigm and descriptive phenomenology. The sample comprised 13 nurses who were purposively selected from in and outpatient settings of the study hospital. Data was generated through in-depth interviews using an interview guide with open-ended questions and verified by a focus group discussion by a focus group guide. Colaizzi’s (1978) method was used as a tool for data analysis. The theory of planned behavior was applied to view participants’ data and reach a general description of nurses’ experience of the in-service training. The study has unveiled participants’ experience of in-service training, challenges of in-service training, and recommendations for improving in-service training. These themes responded to the 3 critical questions which guided the study: What are the experiences of nurses regarding in-service training in one hospital in Swaziland?; What are the current challenges in offering in-service training in one hospital in Swaziland and How can the provision of in-service programmes for nurses be improved in one hospital in Swaziland? The study has shown that participants have experienced in-service training positively and negatively. Central to the experience is in-service training planning, design, implementation and post training follow up and application. In-service planning encompassed communicating in-service training to trainees, selecting participants among others. Implementation entailed types of in-service trainings, topics covered, facilitation strategies, training providers, effectiveness of in-service training, post training support, and benefits of in-service training. The study revealed multifaceted challenges on planning, logistics, delivery, continuity and sustainability of in-service training. These were linked to numerous causes such as shortage of staff, workload, high staff turnover, high morning hospital routine, conflicting trainings, funding challenges, shortage of equipment and supplies among others. Recommendations for improvement of in-service training include the need for proper organization and design of in-service training; proper implementation of in-service training; improving post training support and implementation; improving the work setting; engaging management; donor support; upgrading the in-service infrastructure. The argument put forth is that in order to improve nurses’ experience of in-service training to produce performance change and possibly better patient outcomes, efforts must address factors that influence the outcome of the experience. These are personal, significant others, internal organisational, and health systems factors.