Speaker for Nursing Conferences 2019- Maserapelo Gladys Serapelwane

Title: Enhancement of supportive supervision of operational managers in the Primary Health Care facilities of North West Province

Maserapelo Gladys Serapelwane

North West University, South Africa


Maserapelo graduated for doctor of philosophy in nursing at North West University during 2019 in South Africa and for master nursing in 2012.  She worked as lecturer for the past five years in North West University and for five years at the Nursing College in South Africa. She facilitates teaching and learning in Community Health Nursing. She worked for the Department of Health as a nursing manager for five years and as a professional nurse at different Primary Health Care facilities in South Africa. She is an emerging researcher who published two research articles in two accredited journal.


Background: Lack of Supportive Supervision of Operational Managers is raised as a serious challenge in management of Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities of South Africa. These occur despite the burden of disease and a high demand of quality services. Regardless of the challenges, Operational Managers are to play an effective supervisory role by ensuring that all the health care programmes are implemented according to the set norms and standards.
Objectives:The study explored and described experiences of Operational Managers regarding Supportive Supervision by Local Area Managers’ in the PHC facilities of North West Province, South Africa. The Operational Managers’ perceptions of how Supportive Supervision can be facilitated effectively were also described.
Design and methods: A qualitative, descriptive, exploratory and contextual research study was conducted in the PHC facilities of the four sub-districts in NWP.The population comprised of Operational Managers’ who worked for a period of more than a year in the PHC facilities. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants, and fundamental ethical principles underlying protection of human subjects were adhered to throughout the research process (Brink, van der Walt & van Rensburg, 2012:34).Four semi-structured in-depth focus group interviews were conducted. The total number of Operational managers who participated in this study was twenty three. The analysis of data followed Tesch’s method of content analysis and open-coding (Creswell, 2009: 184).
Results: Four broad themes with their respective categories and sub-categories emerged from the consensus meeting held with the independent co-coder. In the first theme, the participants expressed experiences of factors related to compromised critical aspects of supportive supervision. The second theme embodied experiences of factors related to lack of qualities and competencies of a supportive supervisor. The third theme focused on experiences of factors that contribute to poor delegation and supervision in the Primary Health Care facilities. In the fourth theme, the participants expressed the factors that can enhance facilitation of effective supportive supervision.
Recommendations and conclusion: The recommendations included, amongst others, in-service training of local area and operational managers regarding the concept and critical elements of Supportive Supervision, a need for a clearly communicated plan of operational managers’ supervision in the facility, decentralization of budget so that Operational managers should be actively involved in management of financial resources in order to effectively implement PHC programmes as outlined in the ideal clinic model. A need for debriefing sessions for local area and operational managers and all PHC nursing staff was recommended. Based on the findings of this study, it was apparent that supportive supervision of Operational Managers in the PHC facilities should be enhanced.