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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2009 Jan;10(1):4-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2008.08.010.

Staff assignment practices in nursing homes: review of the literature.

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1
Department of Sociology and Gerontology, Miami University, Oxford, OH, USA. rahmananna@yahoo.com

Abstract

Consistent assignment, whereby nursing home staff members, particularly certified nurse aides, are assigned to the same residents on most shifts, is increasingly viewed as a cornerstone of culture change in nursing homes. It has been advocated as a best-care model that increases residents' quality of life while contributing to a more stable frontline staff. Given these potential benefits, consistent assignment is now widely viewed as superior to rotating assignment, an alternative staffing model that aims to distribute care burden more fairly among staff and ensure that workers are familiar with most residents. Despite favorable anecdotal reports about the benefits of consistent assignment, the research literature reports mixed and sometimes contradictory findings for this staffing practice. This article reviews the research pertaining to staff assignment practices in nursing homes. Reviewed here are 13 reports on experimental trials (6 reports), evaluation research (4 reports), and nursing home surveys (3 reports). The review reveals broad diversity in staffing practices and raises questions that challenge popular assumptions about consistent assignment. The article closes with a discussion of the research, policy, and practice implications of the research findings.

PMID:
19111847
DOI:
10.1016/j.jamda.2008.08.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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