This article presents findings from a study that explored nurses' and personal care assistants' role in improving the relocation of older people into a nursing home.
Suggestions for improving the relocation process for older people moving into a nursing home have been the outcomes of studies that have interviewed residents and their families. However, the views of nurses and personal care assistants working in nursing homes have not been previously explored.
An exploratory, descriptive qualitative research design.
Individual interviews were conducted with 20 care staff (seven registered nurses, five enrolled nurses and eight personal care assistants) employed at four nursing homes.
Using thematic analysis, two key themes were identified: 'What it's like for them' - highlighted staffs' awareness of the advantages, disadvantages and meaning of relocation, and focused on staffing and nursing care; other services provided and the environment. The second theme - 'We can make it better', revealed suggestions for improving the relocation process, and included spending time with new residents and the importance of a person-centred approach to care.
Care staff have an important role in improving the relocation process of older people into a nursing home, as well as contributing to the discussion on this important clinical topic.
Relevance to clinical practice
Challenging care staff to acknowledge the importance of their role in helping older people settle into a nursing home is a key requirement of nursing practice in aged care. Nursing practice guidelines, with a focus on person-centred care, on how to manage the relocation process for an older person and their family are required for this aspect of nursing home care. Education of staff on relocation policies and procedures is essential to ensure that residents and their families are supported through this process.