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Keywords:

  • intervention;
  • long-term care;
  • supervision;
  • work satisfaction

Aims and objectives.  The aim of the study was to investigate, from the narratives of nine enrolled nurses and one nurses’ aide directly involved in patient care, the deeper meaning of work satisfaction and dissatisfaction when working with the older people.

Background.  Both nationally and internationally, there is little research documented regarding the working situation of the enrolled nurses and nurses’ aides who make up the majority of care for older people today. With this in mind, it is important to focus on how these occupational groups experience their work with the older residents in municipal care, following a two-year intervention.

Design.  The study is part of a larger longitudinal study, with a quasi-experimental design within the municipal system of care for older people in Sweden. The investigation was carried out following a two-year intervention, which included: education, support and clinical supervision.

Method.  The interviews were performed 12 and 24 months after start of the intervention and were analysed with a phenomenological–hermeneutic method inspired by Ricoeur's philosophy.

Results.  The findings from these narratives illustrated a change compared with the findings from the first interviews, when the nursing home had just opened. There was a shift from a dominance of dissatisfaction with work, to a dominance of work satisfaction and this was expressed in the following themes: experience of a changed perspective, experience of open doors, and experience of closed doors. Each theme emerged from several different subthemes and each subtheme that had been expressed in the caregivers’ narratives was interpreted.

Conclusions.  The study shows that the caregivers’ experience of work satisfaction in the workplace exceeded their experience of dissatisfaction and that the intervention, consisting of: education, support, and supervision might have facilitated this positive development where the older residents were prioritized. It also shows that communication and understanding between management and staff had increased as the nursing home had opened.

Relevance to clinical practice.  The findings can be used to help to prevent work dissatisfaction, and thereby increase work satisfaction for caregivers working in nursing homes.