Working in Long-Term Residential Care: A Qualitative Metasummary Encompassing Roles, Working Environments, Work Satisfaction, and Factors Affecting Recruitment and Retention of Nurse Aides

  •  Elizabeth Andersen    


By means of the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), MEDLINE, EMBASE and
Ageline (AARP) database searches, the author presents a review of the literature addressing residential care aides- their
roles, working environments, work satisfaction, and factors affecting recruitment and retention. Using the method of
qualitative metasummary, eight broad themes emerged: job dissatisfaction, low wages, attrition and retention
difficulties, threats to personal safety, the experience of hierarchy (devaluation and domination), the importance of
relationships and collegial support, excessive workloads and inadequate training. Heavy reliance on American research
is a limitation, but there appears to be general agreement across eight countries that residential care aide work can be
arduous, demanding and demoralizing. At the same time, given the constraints that most aides work under, many aides
care greatly about their clients and are very concerned about the quality of care that they are able to provide. Their
voices, however, remain relatively overlooked or ignored.

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