An investigation into the nurses` levels of abilities and knowledge in aged care institutions

Aninvestigation into the nurses’ levels of abilities and knowledge inaged care institutions

  1. The study analyses the perception of nurses in aged care about their levels of abilities and knowledge especially when it comes to taking care of the mentally ill patients.

  2. The population of Aged people in developed nation is on the rise

  3. Nursing practitioners play an important role in the provision of aged care services

  1. Background

  1. Importance of undertaking the study

  2. Study aims and objectives

      1. investigating the competence levels of nurses within the aged care settings

      2. Identifying the factors that impact the knowledge levels and skills of nurses in aged care institutions

      3. Highlighting the crucial role that nurses in aged care setting play in ensuring that the old people are comfortable and well taken care of

      4. Investigating the nurses’ thoughts on the most appropriate interpersonal skills required in aged care institutions

  1. Current issues in Aged care

  2. Research questions

  1. What are the roles of nursing practitioners in the primary and secondary care of the aged individuals?

  2. In which ways can nurses chose and transfer new knowledge and skills in aged care nursing?

  3. What are the integral competencies in aged care nursing?

  1. Expected outcomes

  1. Literature review

  2. Methodology

  1. Study focus

  2. Selection and access of participants

  3. Criteria for participating in study

  4. Number of participants

  5. Information gathering methods

  6. Data analysis

  7. Ethical consideration and approval

  8. Validity and reliability

Thenumber of aged individuals in developed nations is increasing at asteady rate. This has brought about an increase in interest for agedcare. Aged care nursing requires particular aptitudes in variousclinical zones that incorporate t, palliative care, pain managementand mental illnesses. Enlisted medical caretakers shape an essentialpiece of foundations that give care to the aged people. However, itshould be noted that most institutions that give nursing care to theaged don`t utilize enough nursing practitioners with the necessary levels of aptitudes and learning to satisfactorily deal with the agedindividuals, particularly those who have mental illnesses (Mccabe etal, 2009) . Lyons et al (2008) states that the shortage ofadequately prepared and skilled medical attendants in nursing homesimplies that people living in long aged care institutions don`t getthe most appropriate type of nursing care. Dwyer (2011) is of theview that the significance of qualified medical caretakers in takingof care the mentally ill and aged population is finally beingrecognized. Additionally, he opines that the attendants` involvementin the provision of nursing care in aged care setting are yet to besurveyed adequately . This study concentrates on what the nursingpractitioners in aged care institutions think about their levels ofabilities and knowldge particularly with regard to dealing with thementally ill patients.

Dementiais the most widely recognized mental issue connected with the oldpopulace. This paper will focus on the medical attendants` levels oflearning and aptitudes in dealing with the aged patients withdementia. Dementia is described as key brain functioning includingthinking, memory as well as judgment. Most governments around theglobe are auditing their aged care policies with a point ofguaranteeing that more aged people are furnished with proficient andfar reaching care (Scott, 2010). To accomplish such levels ofconsideration, an investigation of nursing practitioners’ skills inthis area is vital. Aged care nursing requires elevated amounts ofclinical capabilities and novel interpersonal aptitudes (Tighe,2012). This paper aims at identifying whether nurses in aged careinstitutions have what it takes to give the most appropriate natureof nursing care to the aged populace.


Moststudies conducted in the past have concentrated on the monitoring ofthe quality of aged care services. Additionally, the care modelsapplied in different aged care institutions have also been the centerof focus for past studies. One of the most examined approaches toaged care has been the personal focused approach. Various models ofaged care nursing have heavily borrowed from this approach. The Edenapproach proposed by Dr. William Thomas in 1991 is among the mostbroadly used model in aged care institutions and that since itsadvancement, different models, for example, Well-spring model havebeen produced (Brownie and Nancarrow, 2013). Path and Whitaker (2011)opines that care for the aged individuals also takes place inindividual homes of the patients as opposed to being solely offeredin closed settings. Additionally, he points out that specializednursing, particularly in Dementia, is consistently developing withaged patients who have the ailment being furnished with theappropriate care and treatment.


Thefundamental research questions the study seeks answers to is “whatare aged care nurses’ thoughts on their level of abilities andknowledge in taking care of mentally ill and aged patients?”Additionally, the following research questions will be used

  1. What are the roles of nursing practitioners in the primary and secondary care of the aged individuals?

  2. In which ways can nurses chose and transfer new knowledge and skills in aged care nursing?

  3. What are the integral competencies in aged care nursing?

Aimsof the study

Thepaper aims at investigating the competence levels of nurses withinthe aged care settings. It will rely on the personal accounts andperspectives of the nursing practitioners. Apart from that, it aimsat identifying the factors that impact the knowledge levels andskills of nurses in aged care institutions. The paper will alsohighlight the crucial role that nurses in aged care setting play in ensuring that the old people are comfortable and well taken care of.It also aims at investigating the nurses thoughts on the mostappropriate interpersonal skills required in aged care institutions.

Importanceof the study

Takingcare of the aged people requires elevated amounts of interpersonalaptitudes and dominance of the medical attendant skills. Over theprevious years, numerous nations have understood the significance oftaking care of the aged population due to the rising numbers of babyboomers. Notwithstanding that, dementia has emerged as a medical areain which specialized nursing services are required. This is becauseof the increase in the numbers of aged people who have dementia.Studies focusing on service delivery in aged care have been done inthe past. However, much attention has not been given to how thenursing staff thinks of their level of aptitude and knowledge. Thecurrent study also calls attention the critical aptitudes and skillsthat may be deficient among the nursing professionals in aged care.

Reviewof literature

Nursingspecialists assume an essential part in guaranteeing the wellbeingand strength of aged people living in nursing care establishments.However, most nursing organizations don`t utilize nursing specialiststhat are adequately trained and who have the knowledge of thenecessary competencies. Stacie et al (2008) point out that there havebeen numerous progressions in the social angles and structure ofnursing care for the aged in the general public with an increasednumber of aged people benefiting from the abilities, learning,initiative and care that accompanies expert medical caretakers. Lyonset al (2008) contends that European countries are confronted with thechallenge of inaccessibility of well-prepared nursing experts.Additionally, they opine that the number of individuals aged over 65years is on a consistent ascent and that recent statistics inScandinavian countries show that the population of individuals inthis age group as by 20140 is likely to have risen by 10%.

Gaugingthe quality of service delivered in aged care institutions is quitedifficult. (O`Reilly et al, 2011). Taking care of Aged individualsinvolves taking into consideration both the emotional wellbeing ofthe patients as well as their physical well being. The past few yearshas seen the focus changing to the nature and quality of servicesoffered to the aged people in the said institutions (Laukkala,2013). The care of aged people with Dementia has gained importance asone of the health issues in aged care. More institutions are shiftingtheir focus to individual focused aged care as opposed to theinstitutional model of aged care (Brownie and Nancarrow, 2013). Thisshift has had an impact on the delivery of services to the agedpopulation with an increased number of aged people now havingadmittance to quality care (Funnel et al, 2005). Individual focuseddevelopment has affected both the inhabitants in aged careorganizations and in addition the nursing staff in the foundations

Jeonet al (2012) study the different instruments used to quantify thefulfillment levels of customers inside aged care offices. They talkabout the imperative part that the attendants` expertise and learninglevels play in guaranteeing customer fulfillment in private aged careoffices. Different components called attention to incorporate themingling open doors accessible to the aged individuals, the physicalenvironment and the profound administrations accessible in theestablishments.



Thestudy will utilize a qualitative research design. The design isextensively utilized by researchers who seek to study the habits andhuman behavior. It is regarded by most researchers as a precursor toquantitative research. This is because qualitative studies are mostlyutilized to come up with ideas and possible leads which in turn canbe used to generate hypothesis that are testable and realistic. Thedesign is also touted as the oldest of all the research designs andthat philosophers in ancient Greece used the approach by observingthe world around them and trying to come up with explanations of whatthey had observed. The qualitative research design incorporates avariety of techniques including observation, case studies, interviewsas well as survey designs. This makes qualitative research designsone of the most flexible approaches to conducting an investigation.The current study will make use of interviews and observation as themain techniques for data collection

Oneof the outstanding features of qualitative research designs is thatthey aim at creating an understating even during the data analysisprocess. The design is often not preemptive and is an ongoingprocess, meaning that it is both challenging and essential when itcomes to investigating and explaining social phenomena. One of themerits of the qualitative research design is that it makes itpossible for individual case information to be provided.Additionally, cross-case comparison and analysis can be conductedusing this approach. Apart from that, qualitative studies can be usedto investigate a limited number of cases and facilitates that studyof dynamic processes (Merriam and Merriam, 2010). However, using theapproach makes it difficult for quantitative predictions to be made.Additionally, hypothesis and theories with large participant poolsare often difficult to test with this design. Another weakness of thedesign is that the data analysis process often takes a long time andidiosyncrasies and personal biases on the part of the researcher mayinfluence the results (Merriam and Merriam, 2010).

Observationin this study will involve intensive social interaction between theparticipants and the researcher. The approach is grounded in thesymbolic interactionism theory which assumes that individuals arealways in the process of definition and interpretation of varioussocial phenomena and events and that meaning is derived from thisprocess. The behavior of the nurses during the interaction processwith the aged patients will be closely monitored. The observationswill be recorded by taking field notes and through audio recordings.With interviews, a set of questions will be developed to guide theface to face interaction between the subjects and the researcher.Interviews are effective when it comes to collecting data on theexperiences or the personal perspectives of the subjects (Merriam andMerriam, 2010).


Thestudy will make use of Purposeful sampling. The subjects will have tobe nurses within an aged care institution. The approach selectscases that are rich in information for in depth investigation to beconducted. The selections of participants in most qualitative studiesare purposeful. Purposeful sampling makes it possible for subjects tobe selected based on the research questions. It facilitates theparticipation of subjects who can best inform and enhance theunderstanding of the issue under study. As opposed to quantitativestudies where is often predetermined, the sample size in qualitativestudies depends on the necessary number that will ensure that thecrucial elements of the topic under investigation are fully informed.For the current study, the appropriate sample size will be determinedwhen the data saturation is achieved. The data saturation level isthe level at which additional observation or interviews do not intonew concepts being identified. The level will be determined bycarrying out the data collection process concurrently with the dataanalysis.


Thecurrent study will make use of non-probability sampling. Thisapproach has emerged as the most preferred technique by qualitativeresearchers over the past years. For this study, purposeful samplingwould be used. This approach is used when researchers are of theperspective that by watching or meeting a certain gathering, mostdata would be acquired. One of the advantages of this type ofsampling is that it allows the researcher to exclude those subjectsthat do not meet the inclusion criteria. Moreover, it is less costlyand less lengthy contrasted with other sampling techniques. However,the methodology is inclined to biasness from the specialist and makesit troublesome for the representativeness of the specimen to beassured.


Thedata analysis process will begin at the same time as the datacollection process. The first observation to be recorded will markthe beginning of the data analysis process. The continual dataanalysis process will guarantee that any data that is relevant to thestudy is not disregarded. It would also guarantee that the dataanalysis methodology is not dreary and that the data being used isfocused. The data analysis process would start after enough data hasbeen gathered. After the accumulation of sufficient data, theresearcher will identify the different segments of the data relevantto the stated research questions.

Contentanalysis and thematic analysis will be utilized as the principle dataanalysis strategies. Thematic analysis is a subjective scientificapproach in which subjects inside the data gathered aredistinguished, broke down and reported. It offers an available andhypothetically adaptable approach through which subjective data canbe investigated. The approach makes it possible for related ideaswithin the data to be grouped together, after which the connectionbetween the different groups of data is made. Content analysis willlikewise be utilized to dissect the data gathered from observationsand meetings. The methodology would be utilized to sort thebehavioral and verbal data with the fundamental point of grouping,compressing and organizing the data. It will empower the scientist tocomprehend the gathered data and highlight the key discoveries.


Orbet al (2011) point out that any kind of research is characterized byethical issues that have to be adequately addressed. They point thattension is often created between the research aims as well as thefreedom of the subjects to take part in the study. Application ofappropriate ethical principles ensures that the rights of theparticipants are upheld and that the subjects are protected from anyharm that may come about as a result of participation in the saidstudy. An informed consent will be obtained from all the participantsprior to their inclusion into the study. This will ensure that theirparticipation in the study is out of their own will as opposed tobeing forced. Additionally, the subjects will be assured ofconfidentiality. Information obtained will be kept confidential inorder to ensure that the participants don’t suffer any harmfulconsequences as a result of making the said information public.

Validityand Reliability

Reliabilityand validity of a study are important because they show that what theresearcher presents about the issue under investigation is what isreally happening on the ground. To make the study reliable and valid,the researcher will make sure that information regarding thefieldwork context is adequately provided. This will ensure that usersof the information presented in the current study are able to makethe right decision with respect to the applicability of the saidinformation in other settings.


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