The support of professional nurses to youth victims of physical violence at a community health centre in the Cape Flats
Selenga, Melitah Annastatia
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The Western Cape Province of South Africa has the worst multifactorial crime problem in the country. It has the fastest growing crime rate in many crime categories, such as rape and gun related incidents. The youth in the Cape Flats faces many challenges, such as drug abuse and high incidents of violent attacks. The youth who are exposed to violence are inclined to be violent themselves and are at a higher risk of psychopathology. The experiences of the youth after a violent physical incident were unclear. The purpose of this study is to describe actions for the support of professional nurses at a community health centre to youth victims of physical violence in the Cape Flats. A phenomenological, exploratory, descriptive, contextual design was followed in this study. This study explored and described the lived experiences of youth victims of physical violence in terms of the support they received in a natural setting at a community health centre in the Cape Flats. Purposive sampling was used for the study, and data saturation determined the size of the sample, that was eight participants. Participants were male and female youth members between the ages of 18 and 27 years who had experienced a violent incident and visited a health care centre for follow-up treatment. They were given information sheets that explained the nature of the research project. Individual in-depth interviews were used to collect data. Interviews were conducted in one of the consultation rooms at a community health centre that was quiet and where minimal interruptions occurred. The researcher sought permission from the participants to conduct the interviews and to audio record those interviews. All ethical principles were adhered to in this study; that is confidentiality, anonymity, withdrawal, autonomy, and informed consent. Trust worthiness was ensured during the research process. In cases where participants had experienced psychological distress, they could be referred to a psychologist. However, none of the participants displayed any signs of emotional discomfort during the interviews. Data was analysed using Creswell’s six steps of open coding. All data would be kept under lock and key for five years after the research report has been made available. Main themes that emerged from the data analysis were related to violent incidents that had a negative impact on the participant; participants applied defence mechanisms to deal with their trauma, and participants experienced care and support either negatively or positively. A recommendation of this study is the implementation of an in-service training programme to the nurses who care for the youth after violent physical incidents.