Who is Nursing Them? It is Us: Neoliberalism, HIV/AIDS, and the Occupational Health and Safety of South African Public Sector Nurses, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Who is Nursing Them? It is Us

Neoliberalism, HIV/AIDS, and the Occupational Health and Safety of South African Public Sector Nurses, 1st Edition

By Jennifer R. Zelnick, Charles Levenstein, Robert Forrant, John Wooding


198 pages

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This book explores the impacts of HIV/AIDS and neoliberal globalization on the occupational health of public sector hospital nurses in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The story of South African public sector nurses provides multiple perspectives on the HIV/AIDS epidemic-for a workforce that played a role in the struggle against apartheid, women who deal with the burden of HIV/AIDS care at work and in the community, and a constituency of the new South African democracy that is working on the frontlines of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through case studies of three provincial hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, set against a historical backdrop, this book tells the story of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the post-apartheid period.

Table of Contents



Introduction: Understanding a Public Health Crisis from a Work Environment Perspective

Introduces how the research came about through the author's interest in HIV/AIDS and the impacts of neoliberal globalization on health care workers.

Chapter 1. Globalization and Health in sub-Saharan Africa

Describes how the post-colonial experience in the 1970s, economic crisis, and subsequent structural adjustment policies had devastating impacts on health and health care systems.

Chapter 2. Neoliberalism in Postapartheid South Africa and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Describes how the African National Congress government adopted neoliberal macroeconomic policy and failed to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early years of South African independence.

Chapter 3. The Work Environment of Nurses

Explores the historical and current work environment of nurses in the context of 'brain drain', labor migration, and the global nursing shortage.

Chapter 4. Case Study Setting: Three Public Hospitals In KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Introduces the 3 KZN provincial hospitals that are the subject of this study; uses interviews with managers and administrators to explore the challenges faced in 3 disparate settings.

Chapter 5. Staffing, Occupational Health, and HIV/AIDS

Uses interviews with managers and administrators to explore staffing, occupational health procedures and programs, and the impacts of HIV/AIDS in 3 provincial KZN hospitals.

Chapter 6. Nurses Speak

Through interviews, nurses explain their views on workplace health and safety, HIV/AIDS, and government health policies.

Chapter 7. Discussion—Breathing Life into Policy: Toward a Labor/Work Environment Perspective on a Global Public Health Crisis

This concluding discussion argues that it will not be possible to meet the needs of poor people living with HIV/AIDS unless attention is paid to the work environment of frontline caregivers.

Appendix: Group Interview Results Summary



About the Series

Work, Health and Environment Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health