The Culture for Safe Staffing

McKnight’s reported on a new study that shows money is not everything. Direct care providers say it’s more important than compensation. Many caregivers prefer a good work environment (i.e. safe staffing) or benefits more than money. A people-oriented work environment with training is key to minimizing turnover which cause deadly care disruptions in nursing homes.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and the Department of Veterans Affairs at Ann Arbor Healthcare System interviewed direct care RNs, LPNs and CNAs, as well as residents’ family members about strategies for reducing staff attrition and its consequences. JAMDA published full findings with suggestions from study participants.

Lead author Sarah L. Krein, Ph.D., RN., reported:

Although better wages were mentioned, it was not viewed by most participants as a primary factor to reduce turnover. Rather, family members as well as direct care and administrative staff all identified the need for staff to feel appreciated and have the support they require as critical to decrease turnover and minimize disruptions in care delivery.

Overwork, burnout, and lack of management support hurt direct caregivers the most. One participant said:

“[If] you’re burning the candle at both ends because you’re always short-staffed … you don’t get any help from the nurse, then … and it’s just like that constantly, I mean, the money’s not worth it.”  

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