A process evaluation of the implementation of the HIV/AIDS counselling and testing (HCT) program for employees at a selected public hospital in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
AIM The aim of the study was to conduct a process evaluation of the implementation of the HIV/AIDS counselling and treatment program (HCT) for employees to ensure the delivery of standardised, high quality and ethical HIV counselling and testing services at a selected Regional Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal. METHOD A quantitative, non-experimental descriptive evaluative design was used to conduct the study. The study consisted of a two (2) questionnaire survey of a sample of 140 participants; One for the staff working in the HCT clinic (n=8) to evaluate the implementation of the HCT activities and the other for the staff that are employed at the selected public hospital (n=132) to evaluate their knowledge, attitudes and practise towards the HCT program. A checklist of the venue was also completed to evaluate the resources available at the HCT clinic. Informed consent was obtained from each participant. SPSS version 19 was used for data analysis. RESULTS The study revealed that the implementation practises of the HCT program were not according to the National Policy for HIV Counselling and Testing Guidelines (Department of Health, 2009) with regards to the availability of resources at the HCT clinic such as HIV test kits, chairs, gloves and sharps containers were available. Privacy was maintained while resources including condoms; directions such as posters to the clinic; pamphlets and reading material were unavailable. Nurse’s knowledge and attitude was neutral. There were no correlations between nurses that attended a HIV course and those that did not. The distribution of knowledge was the same across all categories of experience and level of education. The majority of nurses had an HIV test voluntarily and found out the results. The finding of the study does not indicate whether or not the HIV test was done at the staff HCT clinic or elsewhere. A small minority reported that they tested for employer and insurance purposes. A significant proportion of participants did not test because they were afraid that a person they know may test them and tell others and also because they did not think that the medical and nursing staff kept their testing information confidential. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS For the HCT program to be successfully implemented, resources and supplies must be available at the HCT clinic should an employee wish to use its services. It is recommended that funds be made available and budgeted for to increase the supplies of HIV test kits; provide condoms, books, pamphlets and reading material at the clinic. The researcher also recommends courses be offered to nurses that are interested; include HIV/AIDS courses in the curriculum of nurses attending the college; provide in-service education/training for employees regarding the HCT program, its resources and activities; provide anti-retro viral treatment (ART) to employees at the HCT clinic in order to decrease untimely AIDS deaths.
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