Health Care Assistants in Home Nursing: The Holy Grail or the Emperor’s New Clothes? A Qualitative Study

Source: Kristel De Vliegher, Anja Declercq, Bert Aertgeerts, and Philip Moons, Home Health Care Management, Published online before print June 25, 2015
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From the abstract:
What are the experiences of home health care workers with regard to the delegation of nursing activities, the supervision of health care assistants (HCAs), and the impact of these changes on the work of home nurses (HNs). In-depth interviews were performed with 12 HNs, 12 HCAs, and eight managers in home nursing. HCAs take care of a less care dependent patient population, allowing the HNs to spend more time on more complex, technical nursing care. However, the analysis revealed some barriers, such as a knowledge gap and insecurity felt by HCAs leading to unnecessary patient visits by HNs, unfamiliarity of HNs with the role of delegating activities and supervising HCAs, and poor face-to-face communication between HNs and HCAs.