‘That just doesn’t feel right at times’ - lone working practices, support and educational needs of newly employed Healthcare Assistants providing 24/7 palliative care in the community: A qualitative interview study

Katarzyna Patynowska, Tracey McConnell, Collette McAtamney, F. Hasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Healthcare assistants working in hospice at home settings have a pivotal role in supporting people dying at home and their family caregivers. Some healthcare assistants are working alone in patients’ homes, which magnifies some of the issues reported for those working closely with other team members. There is a dearth of evidence in terms of education, training and support needs for healthcare assistants when working alone. Aim: To explore the role of newly employed lone working healthcare assistants delivering palliative care in the community, and their support and educational needs. Design: Qualitative exploratory study using semi-structured interviews. Setting/participants: Healthcare assistants ( n = 16) employed less than 12 months by a national non-profit hospice and palliative care provider located across the UK. Results: Analysis of interviews identified three main themes: (1) Healthcare assistants have a unique and complex role catering for holistic needs of patients and their family caregivers in the home environment; (2) preparation for the complex role requires focus on experiential learning and specific training to support holistic care provision; (3) lone workers experience loneliness and isolation and identify peer support as a key intervention to support their wellbeing. Conclusions: Given the complexities of their role within community palliative care teams, there are key learning points in relation to healthcare assistant preparation. Education and support networks should be prioritised to reduce isolation and support ongoing learning and development of newly employed healthcare assistants; all of which is vital to ensure safety and quality of care for the growing number of people they support in the community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1183-1192
Number of pages10
JournalPalliative Medicine
Volume37
Issue number8
Early online date19 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 19 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by Marie Curie Small Research Grant (Award Code MCSGS-21-402). KP time on this study was funded by Marie Curie.

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the healthcare assistants who participated in this study. Their contribution was greatly appreciated given the demands on their time. Thanks, are also due to PD who represented the patient and public voice and whose critical insight was highly valued. It was PD’s preference to be acknowledged for his contribution rather than be named as co-author. Special thanks are also due to Valerie Moore, Practice Development team and Research and Policy team at Marie Curie for ongoing peer support to KP. Finally, we express our thanks to the clinicians, managers and research staff who facilitated recruitment to the study. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by Marie Curie Small Research Grant (Award Code MCSGS-21-402). KP time on this study was funded by Marie Curie.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • Palliative Care
  • Qualitative Research
  • Healthcare Assistant
  • Home Care Services
  • After-Hours Care
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • General Medicine

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '‘That just doesn’t feel right at times’ - lone working practices, support and educational needs of newly employed Healthcare Assistants providing 24/7 palliative care in the community: A qualitative interview study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this