A REFLECTION ONTHE IMPLEMENTATION OF FLEXI- WORKING HOURSON PUBLIC HEALTHSERVICE DELIVERYDURING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)ERA IN ZIMBABWE: THE SURVEY FORTHE NURSING PROFESSIONALS EMPLOYED AT PARIRENYATWA GROUP OF HOSPITALSJournal: International Journal of Advanced Research (Vol.8, No. 5)
Publication Date: 2020-05-21
Authors : Nkala Bernard;
Page : 893-904
Keywords : Flexi-Hours COVID- 19 Working Hours;
Implementation of flexi working hours by nurses in the public sector settings attracts different interpretations and presents varying effects to both individuals and the employer. The ability of the Zimbabwes public tertiary health facilities in managing coronavirus (COVID-19) need to be assessed against implementation of flexi hours in a low resource setting.The study objectives were to identify the determinants of adopting of flexi hours schedule amongst nursing professionals at public hospitals and assess the impact of flexible working hours on hospitals capacity to control effectivelythe transmission and impact of COVID-19.The study specifically tested the influence of variables age, gender, salary, unions power and additional personnel on the choice by nurses in engaging in flexi hours.The study conducted a survey analyzingand used (n) 653 nurses from Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals who reported for duty doing flexi hours in the last three months prior to the study. The sample was chosen from 1000 randomly selected nurses using one multi stage cluster sampling (probability sampling design).The respondents were targeted from critical and emergency departments essential in handling and managing COVID-19 possible cases. Data was collected through a self-administered questionnaire on study variables and effects of flexi hours. Logisticregression analyzed data from the sample (n) 653 nurses to identify determinants of flexible working arrangement within public health institution screening, testing and managing COVID-19 patients.The results of the study revealed that age, gender, union power and work force (nurse) shortages all have a significant statistical association with choice to engage in flexible working hours at public health institutions. However, the analysisrevealed that salary had negative outcomeand an insignificant variable. Health workforce and age of a nurse negatively affect the choice of flexi hours at any given time, whereas gender and union power positively influence adoption of flexible working arrangements by nurses. Flexi hours by nurses compromised the effective screening, testing and possible management of COVID-19 cases at a public hospital serving dynamic urban population. Theconfirmed effects from flexible working schedules included headache-backache problems stress, sleeping, accuracy and family problems.The female nurses were affected more than male nurse counterparts.Flexi hours remain an effective tool to help employees cope up with individual demands. However, there is need for proper policy framework and procedures for its implementation, in orderto give employers increased performance and productivity. Systematic implementation of flexi hours in low resource setting environment would be effective if nurses safety remain guaranteed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for safety measures to limit exposure to coronavirus by nursesand improvements in the availability of PPEs is equally important to sustain implementation of a workable flexible working hours schedule for the nurses. The nurses need to be properly educated on effects of flexi hours so that they make informed choices balancing both the organization and individual expectations. Public health institutions need to generate data on flexi working schedules to guide evidenced policy decisions on managing effects arising from extended working hours. Continued health research remain necessary to answer the ever-changing health sector and employee demands in resource-constrainedsetting and especially in eliminating coronavirus (COVID-19) in Zimbabwe.
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Last modified: 2020-07-11 15:28:31