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Enhancing the dementia care workforce’s ability to provide high-quality care: Exploring dementia care students’ reasons for participation in education and translation of education into practice
Aims: It is vital that aged care staff can provide skilled, informed care to meet the needs of people living with dementia, yet there are gaps in staff dementia knowledge. It is important to explore workforce participation in dementia education and the impact of this education on understanding and agency to improve care quality.
Method: This case study of the Wicking Centre’s online Dementia Care Program, undertaken by students across Australia typically working in residential, home or community care, involves tracking students over three years. Data are being collected primarily via online surveys, administered at multiple time points, on the impact of studying the Diploma and Bachelor of Dementia Care on dementia knowledge, attitudes, care practices and career pathways.
Results: To date, 101 participants have consented to take part in the study. Baseline and first follow-up results have been collected with 61% of participants indicating their main reason for study is to improve the lives of people with dementia. Qualitative (open-ended response) data show students recognise they require education so they can more appropriately address the needs of people living with dementia.
Conclusion: Students recognise the need for education, demonstrating its potential to effect change in aged care. How education is used to change care practices, advocate for broader care improvements, and provide the opportunity to move into different roles and career pathways are considerations for the aged care sector if it is to build and reshape its workforce to be more innovative and highly skilled in care delivery.
Publication titleNew horizons in dementia: building on hope
Department/SchoolWicking Dementia Research Education Centre
Event titleThe 35th Global Conference of Alzheimer's Disease International
Event VenueLondon / Online
Date of Event (Start Date)2022-06-09
Date of Event (End Date)2022-06-11