A Conceptual Framework for Understanding the Decision-making Processes of Nursing Assistants in Providing Dementia Care

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Abstract

Our current understanding of how nursing assistants (NAs) provide unlicensed nursing care to the cognitively impaired suggests NAs make choices about how to provide care in ways that may be classified as either rational or intuitive. The degree to which either strategy is related to better care outcomes depends on the background of the NA and the management practices of the clinical leadership in the facility. Practitioners who support open, timely, and accurate communication, a reward-based administrative climate, and NA participation in care planning have the opportunity to improve NA decisions for better care outcomes for residents with dementia.

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