Background: Nursing assistants provide the most consistent care to dying patients in long-term care facilities; however, they receive little training to do so. Nursing assistants are significant, yet under recognized members of the health care team. Purpose: To provide a brief educational intervention to nursing assistants in long-term care facilities with a goal of increasing comfort and improving attitudes towards caring for palliative care patients. Review of Evidence: Symptom management, stress related to the role as a provider, goals of care, time limitations, and fear, are the most significant challenges nursing assistants experience. Few studies have examined education, age, and years of experience as contributing factors that may influence a nursing assistant’s attitudes towards end-of-life care. Project Design: A pre- and post-test design was used to evaluate the impact of an educational session on the attitudes of nursing assistants towards end-of-life care. Methods: A paper survey and brief educational session was provided to a convenience sample of nursing assistants in four long-term care facilities in the Southeastern United States (N=42). Results: Nursing assistants had more positive attitudes after the educational intervention (p <.001, d= 0.5678). There was a potential relationship between age and attitudes (p = .105, η2= .124), however, years of experience was not a statistically significant variable (p = .642, η2= .050). Conclusion: Additional education is warranted to improve attitudes and knowledge for nursing assistants to influence overall quality of care provided to residents at end-of-life.
Nursing, School of
Health Sciences & Nursing, Gordon E. Inman College of
Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)
end of life; palliative care; nursing assistant; attitudes; end of life care; long-term care facility
Mullen, Nicole; Giese, Jeannie; Phillippi, David; and Dahlgren, Lucyellen, "Attitudes Towards End-of-life Care: An Educational Intervention in Long-term Care" (2020). DNP Scholarly Projects. 28.