The purpose of this study was to understand the impact of a work-based learning program on the work lives of Direct Care Workers (DCWs) at assisted living (AL) residences. The research questions were addressed using focus group data collected as part of a larger evaluation of a work-based learning (WBL) program called Jobs to Careers. The theoretical perspective of symbolic interactionism was used to frame the qualitative data analysis. Results indicated that the WBL program impacted DCWs’ job satisfaction through the program curriculum and design and through three primary categories: relational aspects of work, worker identity, and finding time. This article presents a conceptual model for understanding how these categories are interrelated and the implications for WBL programs. Job satisfaction is an important topic that has been linked to quality of care and reduced turnover in long-term care settings.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/diana_white/2/