Staff Development and Long-term Care OF PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA
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Staff development and training programs focusing on the care of patients with dementia is important in providing staff with the specialized knowledge and skills essential in the management of these patients. In this article, the nature of staff development is explored with an analysis of conceptual visions or definitions of staff development. Secondly, the Cervero (1985) framework for continuing professional education and behavioral change is used as a guide to describe the factors that influence the effectiveness of staff development (i.e., social system, individual learner characteristics, type or design of program). Next, the literature related to the outcomes of staff development programs is analyzed. In particular, do staff development programs lead to increased staff morale and job satisfaction and improved client care? An analysis of orientation and educational programs developed for staff working with patients with dementia in long-term care settings is conducted. Using aspects of the RSA evaluation model (Abruzzese, 1996), each program is examined in terms of its process, content, outcome, and impact, along with its feasibility in clinical settings. This critical analysis provides some direction for the development and evaluation of staff development programs in long-term care settings for those staff who work with patients with dementia.
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