Management, workforce interactions affect quality of care, studies find

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When nursing supervisors trust certified nursing assistants to do a good job, CNAs likely will provide a higher quality of care. These results come from two new studies from Better Jobs Better Care, a grant program managed by the Institute for the Future of Aging Services at the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

For one study, researchers at Boston University examined how well nursing home managers and direct care workers honor cultural differences among staff and how that affects job satisfaction. Among the findings: Cultural competence goes beyond language and includes non-verbal communication, food, music, religious practices and end-of-life customs. Researchers concluded that more emphasis should be placed on those other factors of cultural competence to make workers feel respected and valued.

The second study focused on the management philosophies and practices of long-term care supervisors and how they affect frontline worker satisfaction. A team combining researchers from Brandeis University, Boston College and Queens College found that the leadership approach of frontline nursing supervisors has a critical impact on nursing assistants' job satisfaction, and may not necessarily reflect the administrators' management philosophy.