Dignity as experienced by nursing home staff

An article publsihed in the International Journal of Older People Nursing looked at how nursing staff in Sweden view dignity.

In Sweden over 60% of the population are 80 years old or above. As a nation they are trying to implement a care system to deal with the ageing population-just as England need to.

The independant research has been undertaken to clarify what dignity means in a nursing home setting to the staff who deliver the services.

The research aimed to capture the staff members views on what can promote & hinder dignity. 4 managers, 5 registered nurses & 12 nursing assistants were interviewed to find out their perspective, attitudes & values regarding Dignity.

Service user's dignity

The results showed that the views that staff expressed about services user's dignity can be categorised into 4 themes.

Feeling trust-being seen & represented as the individual perceives themself to be

Having physical needs met

Being seen as a person - respecting the persons identity

Having a private space- respecting the persons integrity

Staff Dignity

The interviews also focused on the care staff's dignity as it is felt that staff should experience dignity to be able to deliver dignity. The three main aspects that constitutes a staff members dignity were shown to be:

Maintaining self respect- being shown respect

Experiencing meaningfulness- getting feedback from others

Feeling proud of one's work- doing good for others.

Looking at what hinders Dignity form a staff members perspective resulted in the following themes being identified:

Gap between ideals & reality

Lack of resources

Being ignored

The findings showed that whilst these barriers still existed self respect & meaningfulness of one's work is jeopardised and therfore so is the ability to provide & promote dignified care. The final conclusion form the research highlighted that it is of paramount importance for staff to be proud of thier work & have self respect to deliver a truly dignified service.

The underlying matter remains: how do we close the perceived gap between what staff want to provide & what they are able to deliver?