The population of aged individuals in need of skilled nursing and daily care assistance is vastly increasing. Direct care staff members provide primary intimate, physical and emotional care for residents and indirect care for families that are associated with nursing home facilities. Strenuous physical and emotional stressors are experienced by direct care staff in providing the most intimate care for nursing home residents, yet these staff fall within the strata of lower paid employees. This study served as an attempt to explore the personal and work environmental stressors of direct care staff. Additionally, this study served as an attempt to bring awareness about the current coping methods of direct care staff. Urie Bronfenbrenner's human ecology theory was used as a framework for this study to better understand the interaction of the individual Person with their Environments.
Using a qualitative research method, three nursing homes were selected through purposeful sampling. Twelve direct care workers were selected according to their availability and the work duties that they perform in the selected nursing homes. Three focus groups were facilitated using ten semi-structured interview questions. Focus groups were tape recorded and transcribed in preparation for analysis. Analysis of the obtained data consisted of a critical review of transcripts from each focus group. Data were further analyzed by creating codes and categories from responses reported from participants during focus groups. In addition, observational field notes recorded by the primary researcher were reviewed to indicate the influence of each facility's culture.
This study found that direct care staff experience daily personal stressors from their home and work environments. Respondents discussed personal concerns for the wellbeing of nursing home residents such as health issues, better treatment by staff, and an increase in family visitation. Recurrent responses indicated stressful Person and Environmental interactions unique to their home and work environments.
It was concluded that direct care staff are a stressed population providing constant caregiving efforts both at home and at work. Additionally, there was discussion of the lack of available confidential outlets for direct care staff to discuss their personal and work related concerns. Implications for counseling were discussed.
|School:||University of Cincinnati|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Counseling, Direct care staff, Eap's, Ecological counseling, Employee burnout, Nursing home employees|
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