Purpose: The shift in nursing home care for patients with dementia from traditional task-driven environments towards patient-centered small-scale environments has implications for nursing practice. Information about its implications for nursing staff is lacking, and only a few studies have addressed staff perceptions. We sought to explore staff perceptions of required skills and to determine differences in job satisfaction, motivation, and job characteristics of staff working in both care settings.
Design: A secondary data analysis was conducted. The data source used was drawn from a larger study testing the effects of small-scale living (Verbeek et al., 2009).
Methods: Nursing staff working on a permanent basis and who were directly involved in care were eligible to participate in the study. Data on job satisfaction, motivation, and job characteristics of nursing staff working in typical small-scale and traditional care environments were derived using a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Differences between nursing staff job satisfaction, motivation, and job characteristics were tested using multilinear regression analysis.
Findings: In total, 138 staff members were included (81 staff members working in traditional nursing home wards and 57 staff members working in small-scale nursing home wards). The findings showed that in typical small-scale nursing homes, job satisfaction and job motivation were significantly higher compared to those in typical traditional nursing homes. Job autonomy and social support were also significantly higher, while job demands were significantly lower in these small-scale nursing homes. Social support was found to be the most significant predictor of job motivation and job satisfaction in both types of typical nursing homes. Nursing staff working in traditional care environments more often expressed the intention to switch to small-scale environments.
Conclusions: Based on the findings of this study, it can be concluded that nursing homes environments differ substantially in experienced job satisfaction and job motivation.
Clinical relevance: To enable a balanced work environment for nursing staff, a clear understanding of the relation between living environments and experienced job satisfaction among nursing staff is required. Since social support seems to be one of the key contributors to a supportive beneficial work climate, managers should focus on enabling this in daily nursing home care.
Keywords: Care environment; job demands; job satisfaction; long term care; staff perception.
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