• caregivers;
  • competence;
  • health;
  • older people's care;
  • organisational climate;
  • quality of care;
  • stress of conscience;
  • working conditions

The aim was to describe and compare nursing assistants', enrolled nurses' and registered nurses' perceptions of quality of care, working conditions, competence and personal health in older peoples' care.

Altogether 70 nursing assistants, 163 enrolled nurses and 198 registered nurses completed a questionnaire comprising Quality from the Patient's Perspective modified for caregivers, Creative Climate Questionnaire, Stress of Conscience Questionnaire, items on education and competence and Health Index.

The caregivers reported higher perceived reality of quality of care in medical–technical competence and physical–technical conditions than in identity-oriented approach and socio-cultural atmosphere. In subjective importance, the highest rating was assessed in one of the physical–technical items. The organisational climate was for three of the dimensions rather close/reached the value for a creative climate, for seven dimensions close to a stagnant climate. In perceived stress of conscience, there were low values. Nursing assistants had lower values than enrolled nurses and registered nurses. The caregivers reported highest values regarding previous education making them feel safe at work and lowest value on the item about education increasing the ability for a scientific attitude. Registered nurses could use knowledge in practice and to a higher degree than nursing assistants/enrolled nurses reported a need to gain knowledge, but the latter more often received education during working hours. The health index among caregivers was high, but registered nurses scored lower on emotional well-being than nursing assistants/enrolled nurses. The caregivers' different perceptions of quality of care and work climate need further attention. Although stress of conscience was low, it is important to acknowledge what affected the caregivers work in a negative way. Attention should be paid to the greater need for competence development among registered nurses during working hours.