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Fostering inclusive environments: Staff-family relationships in nursing homes

Queen Utley-Smith, EdD, RN1, D. Bailey, PhD, RN1, ML Piven, PhD, RN1, C. Colon-Emeric, MD2, K. Corazzini, PhD1, N. Ammarell, PhD1, M. Lillie1, and R. Anderson, PhD, RN1. (1) School of Nursing, Duke University, P.O. Box 3322 DUMC, Durham, NC 27710, 919 286-5617 ext 233, queen.utleysmith@duke.edu, (2) School of Medicine, Duke University, Box 3003 DUMC, Durham, NC 27705

Delivering care in a nursing home often involves working with family members. Relatives are there to monitor care, give support and advocate for their aged family member, creating a dyad between nursing home staff and family members that may or may not support good care. Establishing effective staff–family relationships require staff that value family and include them in the care environment in ways that promote facility goals. Understanding interactions and the dynamics of staff-family relationships can provide insight and direction for appropriate interventions that foster a more inclusive environment. Various nursing home management practices cultivate or deter productive staff-family relationships. Discovering management practices that enhance staff-family relationships can lead to new interventions for better outcomes for all parties. This paper will describe relationship and communication patterns between nursing staff and family members, examine management practices that promote an inclusive environment, and explore how these practices influence resident outcomes. This will be accomplished through the comparative analysis of two completed case studies that are a part of an on-going multi-site, longitudinal project investigating effective nursing management practices.

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