Date of Conferral







Sharon Xuereb


There is increasing concern about patient neglect in nursing homes as nursing home staff become burnt out. Although there has been research on burnout in nursing home staff and neglect, little research has been done to understand the specific connection of burnout and neglect through the lived experiences of staff members. Underpinned by Maslach’s theory of burnout, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experiences of nursing home staff who experienced burnout before and after they witnessed neglect of elderly patients. Nine semistructured interviews were conducted with elderly care staff who had experienced burnout and witnessed burnout and neglect in their work. Participants included eight females and one male. Through thematic analysis, four themes emerged: lack of staff support, well-being of residents, compassion for working with elderly and unintentional actions. These findings show that nursing home staff felt burnout was linked to not having enough staff, and that can lead to neglect. Neglect was found to be unintentional. This study shows that many people working in the field of elderly care want to be in the field to help but they become burnt out and then do not want to do the job. These findings can impact positive social change and aid to the ever-growing field of elder care by understanding what can lead to burnout and how burnout can lead to unintentional neglect. This research can help elder care agencies and their staff understand burnout experienced and the neglect taking place and use this understanding to determine what can be done to mitigate these problems.

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