248556 Factors associated with student interest in long term care administration

Monday, October 31, 2011

April Temple, PhD , Department of Health Sciences, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Jon M. Thompson, PhD , Health Services Administration Program, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
The aging of the population has created increased opportunities for health administrators in long-term care (LTC) settings. While many health administration programs offer preparation in LTC administration, there is limited published information that addresses student interest in this career path. This study explored factors related to interest in careers in LTC among undergraduate health services administration students at a large mid-Atlantic university. Using findings from the existing literature, we developed a survey to assess student experiences and perceptions regarding aging and working in LTC. A total of 68 students completed the survey and addressed items relating to demographics, completion of gerontology coursework, experience in LTC settings, frequency and quality of contact with older adults, perceptions of the career field, attitudes towards aging, and interest in LTC. Multiple linear regression was used to examine factors associated with interest in a career in LTC administration upon graduation. Findings show that 32% of respondents expressed interest working in LTC administration, and also indicate that volunteer or work-related experience in LTC settings, quality of contact with unrelated older adults, satisfaction working with the elderly, and confidence in the ability to work in LTC were significantly and positively associated with interest in LTC administration. These findings suggest that programs in health services administration and public health should incorporate opportunities for experience in LTC settings and tailor coursework to develop interest and foster confidence in working in the field in order to increase the number of students choosing to work in LTC administration.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe factors associated with student interest in long term care administration. 2. Discuss implications of the research for classroom activities and experiential learning for students in health administration programs.

Keywords: Long-Term Care, Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in conducting the research that this paper discusses, and have presented on this and other health administration topics at APHA and other national professional meetings in the past.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.