Factors Influencing Recruitment of Continuing Care Assistants to Home Care in Nova Scotia

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Dill, Donna
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With recent significant changes in population dynamics, the need for successful recruitment of sufficient numbers of healthcare workers has been pushed to the forefront. In Nova Scotia and across the country home care is developing as an affordable, appropriate alternative to high institutional costs and traditional hospital-centered care. Consequently a significant increase in the supply of certified Continuing Care Assistants (CCA) prepared to work in home care is essential. The research goal was to identify key factors influencing recruitment of CCAs to careers in home care in Nova Scotia. Employing the lenses of Bronfenbrenner's Human Ecological System and Herzberg's motivational-hygiene theory, and informed by a literature review, a web-based survey focusing on job characteristics applicable to continuing healthcare roles was developed, incorporating five job values: (a) intrinsic, (b) extrinsic, (c) communication, (d) psychological attachment, and (e) work-life balance. The survey was circulated to recent CCA graduates in Nova Scotia. Respondents' profiles closely mirrored the total CCA population: Of the 192 female and 11 male CCA respondents, 80 worked in home care and ranged in age from 20 to 65 plus, with good representation from all age groups and geographical areas of the province. Results indicated that significant relationships existed between the CCAs' fields of work and each of the five job values. All CCAs consistently scored intrinsic job value as being the most prevalent of the five job values in the workplace for both fields. However, psychological attachment and extrinsic job values were demonstrated to have a higher degree of significance for home care CCAs compared to non-home care CCAs. Although job security, one of the extrinsic variables, was ranked as fifth most prevalent out of 19 job values, overall the extrinsic job value scored fourth of five positions. Flexibility/work-life balance was the lowest rated of all the job values, identifying that work-life balance occurs less often than other values in the CCAs workplace, and is thus an area deserving attention for improvement, regardless of field of employment. Overall, all home care CCAs consistently scored all characteristics of the job values higher than CCAs not working in home care, the exception being the lowest rated variable, which scored equally low in both fields indicating a lack of occurrence in the workplace for all CCAs. Of particular note was the finding that a significantly greater percentage of home care CCAs (55%) were very satisfied with their job compared to non-home care CCAs (29%). The findings suggest that recruitment strategies for CCAs in home care should emphasize intrinsic rewards and the high level of job satisfaction achievable in this career. Job security is also a value to be highlighted, especially in the present negative economic climate. The findings also suggest that employers must modify their employment practices to build in more flexibility and work-life balance for current and future CCA employees in both fields.
Home care services , Caregivers -- Recruiting , Home health aides