Relationship Between Nursing Home Safety Climate and Caregivers’ Competence

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To provide quality healthcare, strong teamwork, safety commitment and collaboration between workers are needed. The aim of this paper is to analyse factors related to safety climate and professional competence among caregivers and to compare the results between different age groups in Estonian nursing homes. A Nordic Safety Climate Questionnaire (NOSACQ-50), measuring 7 dimensions of safety climate, was used in order to assess caregivers’ perceptions of the safety climate in Estonian nursing homes, on a sample of 233 caregivers. In order to supplement results from the safety climate study, a Caregivers’ Competence Questionnaire (CCQ) measuring 6 scales of the caregivers’ competences, their perceptions towards received education and safety-related procedures in nursing homes, was used on a sample of 241 caregivers. Results show differences between age groups of caregivers. The most experienced caregivers tended to have a better understanding of their specialty and more positive ratings of the dimensions of safety climate and safety commitment than younger age groups of caregivers. Result show that the age group with respondents born in the period of 1961–1970 gave more positive ratings of “Necessary skills, knowledge in living questions and caring activities” than did other groups of caregivers (mean = 4.46 and 4.41) and of “First aid” (mean = 4.47). The study sheds new light on the usability and applicability of the existing assessment tools NASACQ-50 and CCQ. Interventions to promote safety climate in the nursing homes should be tailored to the target group with a special focus on age and work experiences as attitudes and perceptions may differ among those groups.

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