DENOSA KZN happy with outcomes of today‚Äôs special chamber meeting on ‚Äėadvertising versus translation‚Äô o...

Media statement 

Thursday, 11 October 2018  


The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in KwaZulu-Natal is pleased with the outcomes of today’s special chamber meeting in the province whereby government acceded to our fair demands that enrolled nurses who have gone through bridging to become professional nurses be appointed (translated) as soon as positions are available in their institutions.

This outcome will benefit more than 1200 nurses in the province who are now professional nurses and have not been translated since 2016. DENOSA called for today’s special chamber meeting following difference of views with the provincial department on the treatment of enrolled nurses who have gone to school to upgrade their education and become professional nurses when a position becomes available. 

“The nurses who have qualified as professional nurses from being enrolled nurses have gone through the qualification in two ways: some have been funded by government to do bridging to become professional nurses; and others, who are in the majority, have funded their own study with the approval of the institutions,” explains DENOSA KZN Provincial Secretary, Mandla Shabangu. 

“With these professional nurses still working in their previous positions as enrolled nurses, but often get asked to perform certain duties as professional nurses from time to time, whenever positions of professional nurses become available, the department advertises such positions externally whereas there are nurses internally who have become professional nurses but have not yet been appointed. This is where we have been in disagreement with the department since 2016.”

But in today’s meeting at the chamber, all parties agreed to the following process going forward:

-          Whenever posts of professional nurses become available at institutions, nurses who have not been translated yet at such facilities will be given priority, starting with those whose studies have been funded by government and followed by those who have self-funded their studies; 

-          Any vacancies which have been advertised so far will be retracted and professional nurses who have not been translated at such institutions will be given preference; and 

-          This decision will be communicated with institutions as early as next week. 

DENOSA is pleased with this outcome as it ensures that fairness in the treatment of staff, as well as promotion of both skills and staff development in the workplace, are given priority. 

We regard this as a victory for workers. 


Issued by the DENOSA in KwaZulu-Natal 

For more information, contact:

Mandla Shabangu, DENOSA KZN Provincial Secretary 

Mobile: 071 643 3369 

Tel: 031 305 1417 


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DENOSA at Thelle Mogoerane Hospital pleased with commitment to hire 50 more nurses and 90 additional support ...

Media statement 

Thursday, 11 October 2018


DENOSA at Thelle Mogoerane regional Hospital branch is pleased that through many tough and rough engagements with management and various stakeholders, our struggle to better Thelle Mogoerane regional hospital has yielded positive results following the commitment by the management to hire 50 more nurses at the hospital as well as more than 90 additional support staff.

After countless deliberations with the HOD of health, Professor Lukhele, we are pleased to say more than 50 nurses posts will be advertised tomorrow on the DPSA website, starting from the DD of nursing, professional nurses as well as enrolled nurses. Together with other unions namely, NEHAWU, HOSPERSA and PSA, we managed to get our message of staff shortages at Thelle Mogoerane regional hospital across, and this has resulted in further 93 posts in total to be advertised tomorrow ranging from HR practitioners, doctors, cleaners, porters to property care takers as well as kitchen aid assistants. 

DENOSA at Thelle Mogoerane also wants to place it on record that it fought tirelessly to make sure that all community service nurses and enrolled nurses are placed on correct posts and remunerated accordingly. We left no stone unturned by also making sure that those who were shortchanged on their uniform allowance get the outstanding amount and such will be done by no later than 28 October as promised by the new acting HR Manager. The interim management placed at Thelle Mogoerane by professor Lukhele, led by acting CEO Doctor Malaka from Far East Rand Hospital, is working together with all stakeholders to get this institution back to its rightful place of being the best health care service provider in Gauteng or the country as a whole. 

The branch leadership of DENOSA in Thelle Mogoerane is going to be in full support and be of assistance to the new team and wish them well and the best. We encourage the community of Kathorus, those who are highly skilled, competent and patient/community centered, to apply for the various work opportunities which shall be advertised from tomorrow.

We are also pleased that this development will improve the quality of healthcare that our patients and community desperately need from the hospital.  


Issued by DENOSA Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital branch 

For more information, contact: 

Lebohang Nkoana, DENOSA branch Secretary: 072 874 9494   


Onwaba QwabeDENOSA branch Chairperson: 078 610 9601 

Alternatively, contact:

Simphiwe Gada, DENOSA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson

Mobile: 079 501 4869  


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DENOSA welcomes undertaking to create jobs in public health sector at Jobs Summit ...

Media statement 

Friday, 05 October 2018 


The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) warmly welcomes the undertaking made by South African government, through President Cyril Ramaphosa, at the Jobs Summit to employ health professionals, including nurses and interns, as part of a broader commitment to creating jobs in South Africa.

DENOSA is particularly happy with the commitment to fill critical posts in health, as this move will surely result in better patient care in our public health facilities. 

Furthermore, DENOSA is pleased with the undertaking by President Ramaphosa that there won’t be any jobs cut in the public service, which would be going against job-creation that the very same Summit seeks to unlock.

As an affiliate of COSATU, which has agitated for this Jobs Summit, DENOSA is pleased that, finally, all social partners under NEDLAC have had an opportunity to look at this ticking time-bomb collectively, because for far too long we have been talking past each other on this very critical issue.

In the health sector, opportunities to create jobs are there for the taking, and they need good planning by both national and provincial departments. Currently, there are thousands of nurses who have completed their qualifications, and most have been funded by government for their studies, but are sitting at home or job-hunting in traffic lights.

In the Free State, it has become a norm for nurses who have completed their community service (internship) to sit at home while staff shortages in facilities are increasingly becoming dire. This reluctance to hire nurses is putting a heavy strain on the few nurses who are employed, which often force them to resign either in fear of always-possible litigations or for greener pastures.  

DENOSA congratulates COSATU for its consistent call for this Summit which has seen the light of day finally. We urge COSATU to ensure that regular follow-ups on the commitments are done, because the increasing unemployment is not something that we can allow to play itself in perpetuity if we care about the well-being of the country when majority young people are not working.


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

For more information, contact:

Cassim Lekhoathi, DENOSA General Secretary 

Mobile: 082 328 9671 


Simon Hlungwani, DENOSA President

Mobile: 082 328 9635 

Tel: 012 343 2315 


Facebook: DENOSA National Page 


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Trauma Nursing Matters...

Evidence based practice: Is cricoid pressure effective in preventing gastric aspiration during rapid sequence intubation in the emergency department?

By Ntombifuthi Jennet Ngiba (BN) (UKZN).

There is on-going change within trauma nursing due to increased research in the area. Practices have been routinely adopted as the norm, but subsequently on further examination proven to be useless and more of a risk to the patient (Moore & Lexington, 2012). Research has brought into question practices or techniques such as the application of cricoid pressure during rapid sequence tracheal intubation. This practise was goaled at preventing the regurgitation of gastric content into the pharynx and subsequent aspiration into the pulmonary tree, but now questioned.

Cricoid pressure was briefly defined by Sellick in 1961 as a method used to reduce the risk of aspiration during the induction phase of anaesthesia. Sellick`s technique was to apply backwards pressure to the cricoid cartilage, compressing the oesophagus against the underlying vertebral body (Ellis, Harris & Zideman 2007; Priebe 2005). In this application of pressure the oesophageal lumen is occluded, preventing the passage of regurgitated gastric content into the pharynx and subsequent aspiration into the pulmonary tree (Stewart et al, 2014). Cricoid pressure is incorporated into the overall approach in reducing the chances of aspiration through rapid sequence induction of anaesthesia (Ellis et al., 2007; Priebe 2005). Over the years rapid sequence induction has been adapted by emergency physicians to allow ventilation as required to prevent hypoxia and subsequently termed “rapid sequence tracheal intubation”. Rapid sequence tracheal intubation (RSTI) is now the most widely used technique for tracheal intubation in the emergency department (ED) and cricoid pressure is taught as a standard component of emergency airway management (Ellis et al., 2007).

Despite inadequate scientific evaluation of the risks and benefits of cricoid pressure it is adopted as an integral component of rapid sequence intubation in EDs. No randomised controlled trials have shown any benefit of its use during rapid sequence intubation (Trethewy, Burrows, Clausen & Doherty, 2012). Furthermore, the application of cricoid pressure may be linked to increased risks to the patient such as  impeding airway management, prolonging intubation time by concealing laryngeal view, inducing nausea/vomiting and oesophageal rupture with excessive force (Ellis et al., 2007; Priebe 2005;Trethewy, et al, 2012). Paradoxically, cricoid pressure may promote aspiration by relaxing the lower part of the oesophagus (Ellis et al., 2007). Some case reports note that tracheal intubation was impeded by cricoid pressure and regurgitation occurred despite application of cricoid pressure, possibly due to its improper application (Trethewy, et al, 2012). According to Bhatia, Bhagat and Sen (2014) the application of cricoid pressure increases the incidence of lateral displacement of the oesophagus from 53% to 91%.

However despite this evidence and the outcome of Trethwy’s (2012) RCT the judicial system appears guided in its judgement by outdated practises. A judge in UK ruled against an anaesthesiologist for failing to apply cricoid pressure to a patient with irreducible hernia who had regurgitated and aspirated. The judge argued that “We cannot assert that cricoid pressure is not effective until trials have been performed, especially as it is an integral part of anaesthetic technique that has been associated with a reduced maternal death rate from aspiration since the 1960's” (Bhatia et al. 2014). Therefore one may say that despite cricoid pressure entering medical practice on limited evidence and only supported by common sense, it somehow remains the practice of choice (Bhatia et al., 2014).

Thus it is about time nurses and doctors embrace evidence-based practice within the emergency department and let go of traditional practice that are proven to do more harm than good. There is still a great need for further evidence-based practice within the emergency department, to investigate the validity of the notion that cricoid pressure prevents regurgitation.

Ntombifuthi Jennet Ngiba is a Professional Nurse at Greytown Hospital.


Bhatia N, Bhagat H & Sen I. (2014). Cricoid pressure: Where do we stand? J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol, Vol 30 pp 3 – 6.

Ellis D.Y, Harris T & Zideman D. (2007). Cricoid pressure in the emergency department rapid sequence tracheal intubations: a risk-benefit analysis. American College of emergency physicians.Vol 50, pp 653 – 665. 

Moore K & Lexington K.Y (2012). Evidence-based practise guidelines for trauma care. Journal of emergency nursing. Vol 38, pp 401-402.

Priebe H.J, (2005). Cricoid pressure: an alternative view. Elsevier. Germany.

Stewart J.C, Bhananker S, & Ramaiah R. (2014). Rapid-sequence intubation and cricoid pressure. J Crit Illn Inj Sci, Vol 4, pp 42 - 49.

Trethewy C.E, Burrows J.M, Clausen D & Doherty S.R. (2012). Effectiveness of cricoid pressure in preventing gastric aspiration during rapid sequence intubation in the emergency department: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BioMedCentral. Australia. Retrieved 04 August 2016:


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National changes in nursing training: South African perspectives 2015...

Dr. Respect Mondli Miya,(D.Lit et Phil)

Senior Lecturer: Psychiatry at Durban University of Technology, Department of Nursing Science


Nursing is a career of love rooted in rich and fertile soil governed by caring ideologies and philosophies. Individuals within the profession have strong and inexplicable desires to serve and preserve humanity at all cost. The nursing profession drives the health care system and is forever in the forefront of preventing, promoting and management of various diseases.  Nurses have always been there and have survived trials and tribulations. Nursing demands not only the brain for cognitive purposes but a humble heart, selflessness in daily duty execution. An individual without passion for the sick will never survive a minute of nursing’s demanding tasks.

Nursing novices are professionally socialized and groomed on their first day of training. Noble traditions of nursing are gradually unpacked and monitored up to graduation to enhance relevance and dignity of nursing profession. Nursing demands the utmost respect for humanity even after death itself. Most professions have minimum set of working hours yet nursing philosophy calls and promotes dedication beyond duty. Nursing is a way of living not just mere qualification written on papers but lived and experienced charisma. 

Historically, nursing was viewed as a religious vocation and was predominantly religious in nature which explains chapels, and meditation designated facilities utilized for prayers before commencing daily duties in old hospitals. Nursing training in South Africa before 1976 was hospital-based hence the notion of viewing nursing as a “hands-on” career has been accepted nationally and acknowledged by most prolific nursing scholars who remain sceptical to have nursing pitched at a degree level and offered in higher training of education in South Africa.   

Such training exposed and subjected nurses to poor recognition as a career.  Nurses were abused and viewed as medical officers’ hand maids who were good for nothing but to offer a bed pan, bathing the sick, and carry orders as prescribed without being objective. The training at that time was strict and limiting, even the scope of practice was limited and nobody could imagine a degree in nursing or university based nursing teaching and learning. Hospitals mostly trained nurses in general nursing and later midwifery.

Around 1987, nursing in South Africa was gradually introduced in tertiary education system and scope of practice and curriculum were amended. Nursing graduates were introduced to a 4-year degree obtaining general, psychiatry, midwifery and community health nursing. That made older nurses to feel bitter and never fully accepted university graduates as satisfactorily trained. Even medical officers were threatened and witness role change from nurses as hand maids into fully recognized members of the multidisciplinary health team with independent roles and functionality. These changes failed to bridge the gap of scope of practice and remuneration packages. Even to this date, the university and hospital trained nurses earn the same salary and follow same stream of training regulated by the same nursing Act 50 of 1978 as amended with specification stipulated in Regulation 425 (R.425).

The nursing act 33 of 2005 introduced community service of one year post- training for both hospital- and university-trained individuals. Errors still exist within the nursing education such as same recognition of a hospital and university trained graduate have similar scope of practice, universities are allowed to implement R425 differently. For example, some South African universities train students for six months in midwifery while others dedicate two full years for midwifery and three years for community health nursing which is offered for six months in colleges and some universities. The problem in South Africa is that there is one R.425 and implemented differently from one university to the other.

The current health ministry is proposing nursing training restructurization. In the proposal dated 23 July 2015, it recommends reintroduction of the old nursing training system with a hope of extending the nursing training duration and to phase out the R.425 of Act 50 (1978). The current proposal overlooks scope of practice and remuneration packages of such graduates irrespective of their qualification which is an error not even Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) could resolve in 2007. OSD failed to address issues of salaries in the nursing fraternity; an obvious error is that a nursing lecturer is graded as a nursing specialist.

The unresolved question here is: Who teaches the other? And why do they earn same salary if the other is a teacher? Up to the very same date, the public health system continues to fail to distinguish university graduates from hospital nursing graduates yet continues to differentiate auxiliary social worker from a University graduate Social Worker, and experienced Medical Officer from a Master of Medicine graduate. Why not with nursing in South Africa? 

The proposed training changes are as follows: general nursing and midwifery be done in a college over a period of four years without indicating whether that shall be Bachelor of nursing offered in a college which can never materialize as colleges do not offer degrees but universities do. If agreed upon, this will mean degrading the dignity of nursing as a profession over medicine which continues to be offered in the university without interruptions.

According to the proposed plan, nursing training is extended to 9 years (four year of midwifery and general, 18 months of psychiatry and one year of community health) which is unnecessary waste of time for an undergraduate qualification yet medicines years of training have been reduced to 5 years (MBCHB).


There is absolutely no need for such drastic changes in the nursing education.  It is alarming to witness MBCHB years of training have been reduced to five years and get paid a satisfactory remuneration package compared to Bachelor of Nursing graduates with stagnant remuneration. The introduction of Masters Degree in Medicines in South Africa is preparing sound clinical researchers and such projects (thesis and dissertations) are evaluated by nursing professors who in turn receive less recognition and degrading salaries compared to MMed graduates.

The South African health system requires the following:

1.     Strong and vocal task team of nursing professors who shall preserve the image and dignity of nursing as a profession and strongly oppose plans to change nursing training.

2.     No college shall be allowed to offer a bachelor of nursing, strictly universities only.

3.     Salary packages to be reviewed and sort clear distinction of a university graduate over a hospital trained graduate.

4.     Revised scope of practice, degree holders be given more opportunity to execute complex clinical procedures and be given better remuneration packages.

5.     Chief Nursing Officer to be more vocal and avoid external influences to disorganise nursing training.

6.     Hospitals to create portfolios and acceptable remuneration packages for all nursing qualifications from a diploma to PHD level.

7.     All South African universities to adopt and implement similar training structure  that is two years of midwifery, two years of psychiatry and two years of community health nursing

8.     Develop a Nursing Ministry by nurses with nurses and for nurses.

9.     MBCHB degree be afforded same status as B.Cur degree thereafter if need be.

10.  South African nursing council to be headed by prolific PHD holders and nursing qualifications be regulated and registered up to PHD level.

11.  Any qualification obtained outside university be regarded as either associate professional nurse and associated medical office until related exam has been endorsed by the regulating body.

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We are professionals, and let us fight to be recognised as such… 
Vuyolwethu Mashamayite - 20150728_073623
By Vuyolwethu Mashamaite 
Ever since I joined nursing in 2005 I have heard nurses say nursing is a ‘calling’ and it's not about money. I couldn't understand why they said so and I still don't.   
I believe that everyone is called by God to be in the profession or job they are doing, unless nurses consider themselves in the same umbrella as ‘Sangomas’ and ‘Preachers’. Those are the people who will leave their profession or jobs and focus on their calling or do both, regardless of whether they are paid or not. 
Perhaps this could be the reason why nurses are under-paid and left to work in extreme unfavourablecircumstances ...because it’s a "Calling".
Don't get me wrong; I have passion and great respect for human life as a nurse. But I cannot keep quiet. Nurses are the most abused professionals by the employer because they consider themselves "called" instead of being employed professionals.
Nurses you are jack of all trades doing everyone's jobs from a cleaner to a doctor but come pay day you are the ones who cry the most because you are underpaid while doing everyone's jobs. I guess it's the consequences of having been “called" instead of being professional.
We feel so comfortable working out of our scope of practice to an extent that we run a risk of performing tasks that we are not equipped to do. When told it's not your scope of practice you tell us of how long you've been doing this and you didn't kill anyone. But the South African Nursing Counci (SANC) is out there nailing nurses and not considering your "calling" but rather your profession and scope of practice.
What hurts the most is the fact that you studied for four years and someone from another discipline who studied the same years is treated and paid better than you. I guess they are professionals and you are in a "calling". 
Nurses, let's STOP hiding behind "CALLING" and start taking our profession seriously. If you don't do it, no one will do it for you. Like it or not we are professionals and let us fight to be recognised as such. 
Vuyolwethu is a nurse based in Kimberley, Northern Cape   

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Nursing Update

January 2018

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About us

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in its current form was established on 5 December 1996.

The organisation was formed through political consensus after the transition to democracy and was mandated by its membership to represent them and unite the nursing profession. Prior to this, the South African Nursing Council (SANC) and the South African Nurses Association (SANA) were statutory bodies which all nurses had to join. It was also important after the transition to democracy to incorp... Read more