A job analysis of selected health workers in a district health system in KwaZulu-Natal. Part Two: Job analysis of nurses in primary health care settings

Curationis. 2003 Nov;26(3):42-52. doi: 10.4102/curationis.v26i3.829.


The aim of this descriptive survey was to do a job analysis of different categories of nurses in a District Health System in order to clarify job expectations, describe current practice of nurses in hospitals and clinics and to make recommendations about skills mix in district services. This article deals with the clinics only. A mail questionnaire requested the sampled nurses to rate the frequency and importance of the tasks they perform. A total of 71% of the nurses (60 nurses of all categories) returned the questionnaire, and an index taking into account frequency and importance, was calculated. The self-report data was compared with data from non-participant observation done over 11 days in five clinics. The respondents rated 11 tasks as being performed more than six times per week, and no task as being important in that more than 70% of respondents felt it could never be omitted. However, on the task index, which combines frequency and importance, 57 tasks received the highest possible score of ten, and few (25%) were rated below five. The work context of nurses in PHC settings and hospitals was compared using Exhaustion-Disengagement Model and it was proposed that hospital nurses had higher job demands and lower job resources, and therefore ran a higher risk of both exhaustion and disengagement. A clear difference in the roles of different categories of nurses was found, although they have many tasks in common.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / organization & administration
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Burnout, Professional / etiology
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Description*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • National Health Programs / organization & administration
  • Nurse Administrators / education
  • Nurse Administrators / organization & administration*
  • Nurse Administrators / psychology
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Administration Research
  • Nursing Assistants / education
  • Nursing Assistants / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Assistants / psychology
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Staff / education
  • Nursing Staff / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Staff / psychology
  • Nursing, Practical / education
  • Nursing, Practical / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Risk Factors
  • South Africa
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time and Motion Studies
  • Workload