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Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA): End-of-Life Care in Long-Term Care (Research, Video 1:51)

Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog Frances Shani Parker, writes this blog. Research on the CNA preparedness role included in-person interviews with 140 CNAs about their experiences regarding residents' deaths. These experiences included characteristics such as care preferences, status perceptions of residents, and the caregiving context with emotional and informational preparedness.

These were the results:

 1) CNAs who reported that residents were "aware of dying" or "in pain" expressed higher levels of both emotional and informational preparedness.

2) CNAs who endorsed an end-of-life care preference of wanting all possible treatments regardless of chances for recovery were likely to report lower emotional preparedness.

3) More senior CNAs, both in regard to age and tenure, reported higher preparedness levels.

4) Greater support from coworkers and hospice involvement were associated with higher levels of both facets of preparedness, the latter in particular when hospice care was viewed positively by the CNAs.

This research concludes that more information about the status of residents and more exchange opportunities within the care team around end-of-life care-related challenges may help CNAs feel more prepared for residents' deaths and strengthen their ability to provide good end-of-life care. Creating this kind of context requires ongoing commitment, implementation, and monitoring.