Nursing staff interactions during the older residents' transition into long-term care facility in a nursing home in rural Norway: an ethnographic study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background: Future challenges in many countries are the recruitment of competent staff in long-term care facilities, and the use of unlicensed staff. Our study describes and explores staff interactions in a long-term care facility, which may facilitate or impede healthy transition processes for older residents in transition. Methods: An ethnographic study based on fieldwork following ten older residents admission day and their initial week in the long-term care facility, seventeen individual semi-structured interviews with different nursing staff categories and the leader of the institution, and reading of relevant documents. Results: The interaction among all staff categories influenced the new residents’ transition processes in various ways. We identified three main themes: The significance of formal and informal organization; interpersonal relationships and cultures of care; and professional hierarchy and different scopes of practice. Conclusions: The continuous and spontaneous staff collaborations were key activities in supporting quality care in the transition period. These interactions maintained the inclusion of all staff present, staff flexibility, information flow to some extent, and cognitive diversity, and the new resident’s emerging needs appeared met. Organizational structures, staff’s formal position, and informal staff alliances were complex and sometimes appeared contradictory. Not all the staff were necessarily included, and the new residents’ needs not always noticed and dealt with. Paying attention to the playing out of power in staff interactions appears vital to secure a healthy transition process for the older residents.