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A number of professional disciplines employed internally and externally provide services in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs). Literature has long highlighted numerous workplace issues in RACFs, yet little progress has been made in addressing these. As such there has been a call for greater understanding of shared issues among service providers. The aim of the current study is to explore and compare the perceptions of a cross-section of service providers regarding the challenges and motivators to working in RACFs. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 61 participants including: care managers, nurses, assistants in nursing, care, domestic and support staff, and speech pathologists. Analysis revealed few issues unique to any one service discipline, with four key themes identified: (a) working in RACFs is both personally rewarding and personally challenging; (b) relationships and philosophies of care directly impact service provision, staff morale and resident quality of life; (c) a perceived lack of service-specific education and professional support impacts service provision; and (d) service provision in RACFs should be seen as a specialist area. These data confirm there are key personal and professional issues common across providers. Providers must work collaboratively to address these issues and advocate for greater recognition of RACFs as a specialist service area. Acknowledging, accepting and communicating shared perceptions will reduce ongoing issues and enhance multi-disciplinary care.


School of Allied Health

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Journal Article

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