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Workforce Issues in Long-Term Care

Motivation For Long-term Care Work

Studies indicate that long-term care workers frequently derive important satisfaction from their jobs. For example, in a survey of approximately six hundred nursing assistants, respondents were asked why they chose nursing home work (Pillemer). They rated twelve possible reasons that have been found to be important to people in selecting jobs. The most frequently chosen reasons were those that related to the intrinsic worth of the job, and the sense that it was socially valuable and personally fulfilling. Three reasons were selected as important by the highest proportions of respondents: provides opportunity to help others (96 percent), makes respondent feel meaningful (93 percent), and the job is useful to society (84 percent). In addition to these ‘‘other-centered’’ reasons, the next most frequent reasons for working as a CNA had to do with rewarding aspects of the job itself: it offers a lot of contact with others (81 percent), is an interesting job (73 percent), and it gives the chance to do responsible tasks (72 percent).

In addition, frontline jobs in the long-term care field do not require extensive education and training, and are typically available to young people, displaced homemakers, new immigrants, people transitioning from welfare, and other persons with limited work histories. The jobs offer more varied and meaningful work than many positions in the hospitality, construction, and manufacturing industries (which also compete for these employees). Further, especially in home care, the jobs offer a greater level of autonomy than other comparable professions.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 4Workforce Issues in Long-Term Care - National Challenges, Makeup Of The Long-term Care Workforce, Characteristics Of The Long-term Care Workforce