UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Knowledge seeking patterns of care aides in residential care facilities Gauthier, Renée Lesley


Background: Care aides represent the largest demographic of residential care facility staff, and provide the greatest amount of direct care hours to residents, yet little is known about the knowledge seeking patterns of this group. Understanding the patterns of how, why, when and where care aides seek information to perform their duties is important for employers, policy makers and other stakeholders when designing training programs and planning knowledge sharing strategies. Purpose: To explore the knowledge seeking patterns of care aides who provide care to residents in residential care facilities. Sample/Methods: Semi-structured interviews regarding knowledge seeking patterns in the workplace were conducted with eight care aides employed in three residential care facilities in British Columbia. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the Braun and Clarke method of Thematic Analysis. Key Findings: Five themes were identified: What I Read, What I Hear, What I Already Know, When I Have Time, and Why I Seek. Time constraints and familiarity with residents were overarching concepts throughout the themes. The concept of reporting as knowledge seeking was also revealed, in relation to care aide self-identities as observers and reporters. Implications: Care aides should be encouraged to seek knowledge about residents and their care requirements. Training programs to enhance care aide communication skills and shift self-identity to the role of knowledge seekers are recommended. Dedicated time for knowledge seeking during work hours should be provided to care aides, and practices should be reviewed to optimize care aides consistently receiving accurate information about their residents without delays or obstructions in the communication chain.

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