Knowledge and attitude towards utilization of patient's charter at chipata general hospital

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Banda, Alidonnie
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The knowledge of patients' rights is of paramount importance to the clients and nurses because it acts as a protector and defense against the danger of violating these rights. The purpose of the study was to elicit knowledge, attitude and utilization of patients' charter and come up with recommendations to assist in improving the delivery of health care services. The hypotheses of this study were that: - Nurses and Patients do not utilize Patients Charter because they do not have knowledge about its existence; there is an association between knowledge and the way people treat each other and; there is a relationship between the way patients are treated and the way the charter is utilized. This is a cross sectional, non interventional, descriptive study which was conducted at Chipata General Hospital. It was conducted on a conveniently selected sample of fifty patients/clients and 25 nurses using self administered questionnaires for clients and focus group discussions for nurses. The study revealed that 64% of the patients had medium level of knowledge while76% of the nurses had low level of knowledge on the patients' charter. All the patients/clients had negative attitude towards the charter while 56% of the nurses had negative attitude towards the charter. About three quarters 72% of the patients/clients and 45% of the nurses had poor utilization of the patients' charter. The hypothesis that says nurses and patients do not utilize the patients' charter because they do not have the knowledge of its existence is true from the findings as it shows that both nurses and patients do not know about this charter. With these findings we fail to reject the null hypothesis. The other hypothesis which says that there is an association between knowledge and how people treat each other is also true as shown by the findings on how nurses treat patients. It is shown that nurses are not knowledgeable of the charter and their attitude towards the charter is negative and with these findings we fail to reject this hypothesis. The other hypothesis also is true according to the findings and thus we fail to reject it. The major implication of this problem is that health care services rendered to clients is inadequate because certain aspects of care such as provision of information are omitted. There is also lack of trust between patients and nurses and this cause a barrier in interacting effectively. Nurses should be reminded of these rights and workshops should be held to teach nurses of these rights. The government should also start sensitizing the community about these rights. Professional bodies as well should also include the topic on patients' rights in their syllabi. The government should employ more staff to meet the required nurse/ patient ratio.
hospital patients - chipata - attitudes. , patients rights - chipata , health services - chipata