Avances en Enfermería
On-line version ISSN 0121-4500
Objective: to identify the employment conditions of nursing professionals in health institutions in Cartagena, Colombia. Method: a descriptive study was designed which included nursing personnel of public and private institutions. The questionnaire included demographic characteristics, position specifics, employment relations, type of contract, work safety conditions and the employment satisfaction scale i.e. SL-SPC, which explores daily material used or infrastructure elements, employment benefits, policies, social relations, professional development, performance and relation with management. A univariate analysis was carried out. Results: The group's age varied between 23 and 55 years of age, the average age being 33,9 years (DS: 8,9). 91% were women, 44% of which were under contract through cooperatives. 67% of the nurses received monthly salaries between COP $1.384.500 and COP $1.846.000, with an average of $923.000, equivalent to US$487,25 per month. Salaries in effect in 2008. 65% of them would receive payment for services without social security benefits. In regard to the material conditions in the workplace and the provision of equipment, 34% of the nurses deemed that work equipment and materials were incomplete or unsafe, 32% identified the lack of signage within the work area, 31%, reduced space and inadequate temperature and 15%, noise levels. Conclusions: In Cartagena, nursing personnel identifies the working conditions as poor in respect of financial retribution, support staff, physical infrastructure of the workplace, materials, equipment and high workload.
Keywords : nurses; working conditions; health services.