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J Gerontol Nurs. 2000 Oct;26(10):16-26.

Assessing the educational needs and concerns of nursing home staff regarding end-of-life care.

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Pain Research Department, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, Washington 98122-4307, USA.


The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the educational needs and concerns of licensed nursing staff and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) regarding end-of-life (EOL) care. Focus group interviews were conducted at two nursing homes in the Pacific Northwest. Separate interviews were conducted for licensed staff (RNs and LPN/LVNs) and CNAs. A total of 15 licensed staff and 39 CNAs participated in the study. Interviews were transcribed and themes were extracted through consensus reached by three investigators. The major concerns of these nursing home staff focused on symptom management, communication and interactions, goals of care, role delineation, time constraints, self-care needs, and emotional attachment to residents. Although both groups described similar themes, specific issues within each topic often were different for licensed staff and CNAs. These findings can be used to guide the design of educational programs aimed at assisting nursing home staff in providing high level end-of-life care.

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