Support workers can develop the skills to work with complexity in community aged care: An Australian study of training provided across aged care community services

Sharon Lawn, Tania Westwood, Sarah Jordans, Sara Zabeen, Julianne O’Connor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Enhancing support workers’ (SW) role is timely given increasing demands on human and financial health care resources. This article presents outcomes of a program, delivered to 140 participants from five community aged care providers in Australia, designed to enhance knowledge, skills, and confidence of community aged care SWs, building their practical skills in understanding, recognizing, and responding to complexity. Evaluation training modules on communication, complexity, behavior change, and chronic condition self-management support involved pre/post surveys with SWs and their supervisors. SWs reported greater awareness, skills, and confidence in working with complexity, reinforcing the value of their existing practices and skills. Coordinators reported greater appreciation of SWs’ skills, and greater awareness of gaps in SWs’ support and supervision needs. Educators, policy makers, and services should account for these contributions, given growing fiscal restraint and focus on reablement and consumer-directed care.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)453-470
    Number of pages18
    JournalGerontology & Geriatrics Education
    Volume38
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017

    Keywords

    • Behavior change
    • care workers
    • community aged care
    • complexity
    • education and training
    • support workers

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