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    A Reflexive Inquiry into Grief Support Needs for Healthcare Assistants in Residential Care settings

    Nelson, Dawn Margaret (2019) A Reflexive Inquiry into Grief Support Needs for Healthcare Assistants in Residential Care settings. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Background: This thesis looks at the role of the Healthcare Assistant in residential care homes who care for those in palliative care/end of life. It looks at the reflexive experiences of the researcher while engaging and supporting narrative discourses with research participants about their experiences of death, loss, and grief in the vocational workplace, reflecting on supports that would benefit them working in this discipline. Aim: A Reflexive Inquiry into Grief Support Needs for Healthcare Assistants in Residential Care settings Methodology: This approach used a social constructivism lens with a narrative inquiry and reflexive practice, grounded in an adult education methodology. Semi structured interviews were conducted, where the interview was presented more like a conversation/discussion to create the ambiance of an adult education environment. Results: In relation to the culture of the organisation and protocol after the death of a resident, there were positive practices and rituals identified that the staff found very comforting and which helped with the grief process. Another area identified was the importance of peer support and space, in having a physical and emotional space where staff felt free to discuss their experience in palliative care, which allowed for open dialogue and acknowledgment of feelings. Staff being supported like this helped reduce the risk of burnout. Attachment was an important part of the relationship between healthcare staff and patients but it left them vulnerable to the experience of grief within the caring role. Formal supports were discussed in the form of a death review, and while there were supports in place, many of these supports where developed due to policy. In conclusion, I felt that adult educational support could be provided so that staff can recognise grief. Even though there are supports, I felt there could be improvements put in place to better support Healthcare Assistants, especially in relation to adult and community education practices like discussion, reflection, and group work.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Additional Information: Submitted in part fulfilment of the requirements for the MEd in Adult and Community Education
    Keywords: Reflexive Inquiry; Grief Support; Healthcare Assistants; Residential Care settings; MEd in Adult and Community Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 12342
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2020 16:49
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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