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Original Theory & Research

Not One and the Same: How Personal Support Workers, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Registered Nurses Enact Collaboration in Long-Term Care

Authors:

David Scott Thompson ,

Lakehead University, CA
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Brett Caccamo,

Northern Ontario School of Medicine, CA
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Alison Paige Thompson

Lakehead University, CA
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Abstract

BACKGROUND & PURPOSE Personal support workers, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses are the primary care providers in long-term care. Research reporting on how these professions collaborate in long-term is limited. Understanding how collaboration occurs in long-term care may support and improve the care of residents.  The purpose of this paper is to describe how personal support workers, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses enact interprofessional collaboration in long-term care. RESEARCH DESIGN & METHODS A qualitative descriptive study using individual interviews with personal support workers, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses working in long-term care (n = 13) was conducted. Data was categorized according to competencies from the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative, National Interprofessional Competency Framework and then themes were identified to describe how collaboration is enacted. FINDINGS Analysis revealed that collaboration occurs according to five competencies (interprofessional communication, collaborative leadership, role clarification, team functioning, and patient-centred care). Four themes are presented: chain of command communication, leadership based on resident condition, (mis)understanding of roles, and respect within team functioning. These themes are presented because they are organizational aspects of collaboration as opposed to individual attributes and are, therefore, more helpful for those charged with supporting or improving collaboration within an organization. CONCLUSION Personal support workers, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses naturally enact interprofessional collaboration is a manner that closely aligns with the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative, National Interprofessional Competency Framework.  Strategies to support and improve collaboration in long-term care should align with these competencies and take into account the nuances between personal support workers, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses.
How to Cite: Thompson, D.S., Caccamo, B. and Thompson, A.P., 2021. Not One and the Same: How Personal Support Workers, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Registered Nurses Enact Collaboration in Long-Term Care. Health, Interprofessional Practice and Education, 4(2), p.eP2168. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2641-1148.2168
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Published on 16 Aug 2021.
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