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Jenny Prentice, PhD student in the Department of Medicine, Wellington

“Tell someone who cares – Participatory action research of motivation and workplace engagement of caregivers in aged residential care”

Jenny Prentice thumbnailI have worked in the New Zealand (NZ) health sector for 30 years and throughout my career my interest in aged care sector has been strong. In my role as a facility manger for a 110 bed aged residential care facility in Wellington I became specifically interested in the caregiver workforce and their role in providing personal care to an increasingly frail population. So I enrolled as a part-time distance student for PhD study at Otago University, Wellington. My passion for finding more about my research topic was added to by the fact my mother lived in residential care for 14 years so I had personal experience of the impact of the quality of care provided. One of the most important aspect of PhD study is a having a passion for the research question. Passion and resilience are vital to last the PhD journey which can be long and convoluted; especially when it is part-time and you live away from the campus. However, for me it has been very rewarding to use the research process to find a way to contribute to the development of quality services in the aged care sector.

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