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DENOSA Eastern Cape calls on nurses to refrain from performing non-nursing duties in health facilities 


Sunday, 20 August 2017


Following its Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting that ended on the weekend in King William’s Town, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Eastern Cape hereby calls on all nurses in the province to withdraw their labour from performing non-nursing duties as a cover-up for gross shortage of staff in facilities. This will save nurses from being implicated in the avalanche of litigations.


DENOSA resolved in the meeting to mobilise nurses to withdraw their labour from executing non-nursing duties. DENOSA is calling on nurses to focus on their nursing duties, or the Scope of Practice as stipulated by South African Nursing Council (SANC). 


In the past years, DENOSA has seen the demise of nursing care in the public sector because nurses are executing non-nursing duties as a result of shortage of clinical and non-clinical staff. The most critical element in nursing, the patient record-keeping, has been greatly compromised. Nurses do not do proper patient record-writing because there is no adequate time to do that. The poor patient record-keeping results in litigation of nurses when there is patient incident reported to the management and SANC. During disciplinary proceedings, nurses find themselves exposed and on their own. 


“The only way for nurses to protect themselves from this malpractice is to refrain from doing non-nursing duties and focus on proper nursing care, including record-keeping,” says DENOSA Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary, Khaya Sodidi. “It is clear that the department is not interested in improving the quality of nursing care and working environment for nurses in our health facilities.” 


DENOSA is calling on nurses to do comprehensive patient care when they are attending to patients and resist from doing non-nursing duties. If they encounter any problem or intimidation from management for working strictly within their scope of practice, they must inform DENOSA immediately. 


The endless list of non-nursing duties include:

·         Nurses becoming clerks after hours because there are no clerks on night duty.

·         In the absence of pharmacy assistants, nurses are allocated to pharmacy to dispense medication, thus taking nurses away from patients.

·         Untrained nurses are forced to apply Back Labs and Plaster of Paris (POPs). This procedure is only done by nurses who have undergone a special training. This cannot be done by any nurse because it may aggravate the injuries on patients. 

·         Untrained nurses are forced to go and assist doctors in operating theatre, leaving their wards unattended. 

·         Enrolled Nurses taking bloods and inserting drips which is out of their scope of practice.

·         Enrolled Nurses are keeping drug cupboard keys which is out of their scope of practice. 

·         Nurses doing porters’ work by taking corpses to mortuary.

·         Nurses packing linen in the linen room.

·         Nurses dishing food for patients. 

·         Nurses mopping the wards.  


DENOSA will embark on a provincial campaign to encourage nurses to do what is right for themselves and their patients. The department must employ the clinical and non-clinical staff to enable nurses to work in a conducive environment for the maximum benefit of the patient.  This includes employing sufficient nursing personnel too.    


DENOSA also pleads with community members to demand adequate staffing of health workers and support staff in health facilities around their communities, because it is them who suffer the harsh consequences of the dire shortages of staff.             



Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) Eastern Cape

For more information, contact:

Khaya Sodidi, Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary 

Mobile: 072 573 3315

Land Line: 041 484 7323/4


Facebook: DENOSA Eastern Cape