Exploring the Effect of Aged Care Education on Quality of Care

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Lawrence, Janet J (2019) Exploring the Effect of Aged Care Education on Quality of Care. Other Degree thesis, Victoria University.


Despite changes in legislation and increased funding and monitoring, there have been problems related to the quality of care in the aged care sector in Australia for several decades. An appropriately qualified aged care workforce is considered the key to improving aged care practices. Therefore, this study aims to understand the reasons for the ongoing problems in the aged care sector that relate to aged care education. Since the 1990s, many studies have focused on care practices in nursing homes, now known as Residential Aged Care Services (RACS). The terms nursing homes and rest homes are still used in other countries. However, few studies examined the influence of aged care education on care practices in RACS. This thesis examines these issues considering John Dewey's (1859–1952) conceptual framework of pragmatism, which is employed in this qualitative study. The framework uses a mixed methods approach, including qualitative data from interviews and quantitative data from an online survey and document analysis of published documents. The document analysis includes the Department of Education and Training's aged care training packages and the Quality of Care Principles 2014. The findings from the interviews were corroborated with the content analysis from the published documents and the descriptive analysis from the online survey. The results were presented in the context of aged care literature and current practices in aged care. Managers and care workers discussed five main themes: (1) the need for consistent models of care; (2) the need for a better understanding of working within a legislative framework; (3) the need to broaden educational topics on chronic health conditions, documentation and elder abuse; (4) the development of soft skills to meet the challenges of working in an aged care environment; and (5) the need for an application of knowledge through simulation and experiential learning by qualified mentors with experience and knowledge in aged care. The conclusion presents a critical discussion of the results from a pragmatist perspective. It suggests a new pedagogical aged care education model Democratic Experiential Learning Aged Care Education Model that incorporates Dewey's writings on democracy and experiential learning.

Additional Information

Doctor of Education

Item type Thesis (Other Degree thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/41798
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords aged care; Australia; aged care education; nursing homes; Residential Aged Care Services; rest homes; pragmatism; quality of care; aged care workers
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