Multidisciplinary perspectives on the role of nurses and health care assistants in the rehabilitation of older adults.

Atwal, Anita and Tattershall, Kirsty and Craik, Christine and Caldwell, Kay (2007) Multidisciplinary perspectives on the role of nurses and health care assistants in the rehabilitation of older adults. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 15 (11). pp. 1418-1425. ISSN 0962-1067

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Abstract

Aim. This paper describes the perceptions of nurses, healthcare assistants, doctors and therapists of rehabilitation and the role of nurses and healthcare assistants on an acute older adults ward in a London teaching hospital. Background. The role perception, education and training and attitudes towards the older adults have been identified as barriers that have an impact upon the nurses’ role within rehabilitation. However, little is known about the role of nurses and healthcare assistants in rehabilitation of older adults in acute health care. Design. Action research study. Method. Twenty-four semi-structured interviews were conducted and audio recorded about healthcare professionals’ understanding of rehabilitation, the type of skills needed and their perceptions of the role of nurses and healthcare assistants in rehabilitation. The interview transcripts were analysed using the thematic content analysis. Results. The findings suggest that the therapists relied on nurses and healthcare assistants for therapy carry-over. Healthcare assistants were perceived as the professional group who could deliver therapy carry-over. There was an evidence of role hierarchy as healthcare assistants perceived that they were not actively involved in decision-making or discharge planning. Conclusion. This paper suggests that healthcare assistants and nurses are viewed as the professional group best placed to deliver therapy carry-over. However, whilst there is an acknowledgement of their role, there remains a reluctance to acknowledge healthcare assistants as a professional group and to involve them within decision-making and discharge planning Relevance to clinical practice. Employers must be seen to advocate, support and implement education and training programs for healthcare assistants. However, whilst nurses and healthcare assistants have an integral role in rehabilitation, there needs to be more research into the how they are supported by therapy professionals.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Health and Education
ID Code:2984
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Deposited On:04 Nov 2009 12:56
Last Modified:10 Oct 2014 12:14

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