Studies Find New Approaches Increase Direct Care Worker Retention and Improve Quality of Care in Long-Term Care
A research team from Margaret Blenkner Research Institute, Benjamin Rose, led by Farida Ejaz, PhD and Linda Noelker, PhD surveyed direct care workers and their supervisors in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home care agencies to evaluate current and future training programs. The findings below are based on a survey of 435 nursing assistants working in nursing homes. The findings from assisted living facilities and home care agencies will be available in the next several months.
- 45 percent of the nursing assistants working in nursing homes said that their initial training had not prepared them well for their current position. They cited, among other problems, a lack of training on how to work on a team and how to best care for residents that act out or are abusive.
- 59 percent said that lack of coverage on the unit prevented them from attending continuing education classes.
- Continuing education classes often lacked training on important topics such as taking vital signs properly, performing CPR and caring for residents with mental illnesses. Implications:
- To improve quality of care and retain a solid, competent workforce, initial trainings need to focus on on-the-job tasks to introduce new workers to real-life challenges and train them how to respond.
- Continuing education can be effective if time is made available for workers to attend these ongoing trainings (most want to attend these trainings, but cannot leave work).
- Investing in workers through training can improve job satisfaction, enabling good workers to stay in the field.