Educational investments may serve several purposes. They can be carried out in order to increase the students’ knowledge within a specific discipline, but also to increase the level of knowledge within an organization. ’Silviahemmet’ in Stockholm, which was inaugurated in the year of 1996, had as one of its objectives to become a school for education of assistant nurses working in the area of dementia care. The educational program had the aim to educate assistant nurses to become supervisors in dementia care, the assistant nurses should acquire an edge competence in the close care of patients with dementia. This educational investment has been investigated in order to study the significance an educational investment may have for a health care organization in which some of the health care personnel has participated in an education and moreover, to study how this knowledge is communicated within the organization.
Thus, the overall purpose of my study is to describe and analyse the significance an educational investment is given, by the participating assistant nurses as well as by other health care personnel. The study was carried out during the year 2005 and concerned assistant nurses educated in the years between 1996 and 2001. Four different data gathering techniques were used; questionnaires, interviews, observations at two workplaces and conversations with health care personnel. The questionnaire concerned all 34 assistant nurses who had participated in specialist training in dementia care during this period. Seven persons were interviewed.
Summing up my results, the knowledge that the assistant nurses have achieved from the education is theoretical and social knowledge of dementia. This constituted a platform to stand on for the assistant nurses in their work when meeting the patient
An important result of the study, concerning the importance of the assistant nurses specialist training for other categories of health care personnel, is the lack of verbal communication between personnel categories that seems to be at hand. Furthermore, dialogues or shared reflections among the personnel could not be noticed. Often it was solely one-way communication that existed on the wards. A knowledge creating dialogue was missing. Questions were asked, but only regarding about "what" and "when" a work task should be performed, not "why" something should be carried out.
An obstacle regarding the communication of new knowledge appears to be the gap existing between an educational investment and the everyday reality of the health care organization. The result of the study shows the importance of adopting the theoretical knowledge to the reality that the health care personnel is facing. Other obstacles seem to be status and hierarchies.
The study showed that the assistant nurses working hours did not allow for educating health care personnel in dementia. There ought to be possibilities within the organization to make space for the use and communication of new knowledge through the supervising of health care personnel caring for elderly with dementia. This in turn may lead to better health care for elderly. This supervision could take the form of a dialogue and shared reflections concerning the patients and their need of health care.
Keywords: Educational investment, learning, health professionals, elderly care, communication
. The theory and the meeting with the patient in practice formed an overall understanding and knowledge regarding all dimensions of dementia. The education also resulted in a strengthened self-confidence of the participants. The feeling of confidence in the newly acquired knowledge seems to have contributed to a professional development. Further, it proved to take time for the assistant nurses to enter their new role as specialists within dementia care. It was revealed that they did not get enough time from their employer to educate the health care personnel. Moreover, it was not easy to return to the old workplace, especially regarding the relation to old working colleagues and nurses. The assistant nurses described this as a feeling that they had to balance their comportment on the wards in order not to take up too much space.
2010. , 90 p.