Improving the Quality of Nurse Assistants in Nursing Homes: Report of an Attending Physician Survey and an AMDA Symposium

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Investigated views of attending physicians regarding nurse assistants in nursing homes as part of a multidisciplinary seminar on nurse assistants at the 1997 American Medical Directors Association (AMDA) annual symposium. A total of 56 physicians (mean age 49) from the AMDA roster completed a mail survey before the symposium, with open-ended questions on characteristics of outstanding nurse assistants, barriers impeding quality of staff, and strategies to develop or enhance the role of the nurse assistant. Respondents rated the importance of quality nurse assistants with a mean of 4.85 (with 5 being very important). They also thought it was important for the medical director and attending physicians to support, train, or otherwise assist in the professional development of nurse assistants. They recommended enhanced training, reduced workload, increased salary and benefits, and building more effective relationships as strategies for improving the quality of care provided by nurse assistants.



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