Reflections on implementing an evidence-based educational intervention in residential aged care
School of Nursing and Midwifery
J.O & J. R. Wicking Trust, Australia
Background: The aged care sector has been subjected to ongoing public criticism about the quality and standards of care Reflections on implementing an evidenced based educational intervention in residential aged care. It is important for educators and researchers to work in partnership with staff in this sector to empower them and enhance care. This paper reports the implementation of a specifically designed educational intervention, the Tri-focal Education Program (TEP). Aim: To explore whether implementing the TEP had any impact on staffs’ perceptions of the work environment, work competence, and organisational culture in a residential aged care facility. Methods: The TEP was delivered by a nurse educator who worked with staff to develop and role model the desired practice changes. A pre (n = 52) and post (n = 33) survey, comprising two validated instruments, was used to explore the impact of the implementation of the TEP from the staff perspective. Findings: Staff reported positive perceptions of their work environment on the pre-survey and there were no significant changes post-intervention. Discussion: There are multiple explanations for this result. It could be that a low response rate, combined with high pre-test scores, created a ceiling effect that made it difficult to demonstrate any significant post-test changes. Conclusion: A more bipartisan, action research approach to the implementation of the TEP may have empowered staff, encouraged them to engage more fully with the research, and feel safe to respond accurately to the survey. Given that staff felt rushed to deliver care, a longer implementation phase that introduces change in a more gradual way may reduce the potential burden on staff.
Safety and quality in health care