The study aimed to explore the experiences of healthcare assistants working with people with dementia in UK residential care homes. Eight participants completed semi-structured interviews which were analysed by interpretative phenomenological analysis. Data analysis revealed three main themes representing healthcare assistants’ experiences: the importance of relationships, which referred to the importance of their relationships with clients, families and colleagues as well as their attachment to clients; something special about the role, which referred to their perception that their role was unique and rewarding as well as their personal commitment to the job; and the other side of caring, which referred to the more difficult aspects of their role, including managing emotions and conflicts within the caring role. The findings indicate that staff should be supported to build strong and supportive relationships within their role and have opportunities to explore their emotional reactions to reduce any adverse impact on care provision. It is possible that this could be facilitated through reflective practice groups or clinical supervision.
Bibliographical noteThis article is currently in press. Full citation details will be uploaded when available.
- healthcare assistants
- residential care homes