2023 Northern BC Research and Quality Conference - Concurrent Session Information

Conference Poster

Concurrent Session K 

Date: November 9

Time: 10:45am - 11:45am 

Location: University of Northern BC, 6-205 

Theme: Healthcare Across the Lifespan

Oral Presenters: 

Leah Chambers 

Title: Assessing the Impact of Use of Hydroponic Tower on Staff Workload in a Care Setting

Background: Indoor gardening can benefit individuals in hospice care by reducing social isolation and loneliness, and hydroponic gardening can be a solution for providing meaningful activities northern areas where access to outdoor gardening is limited most of the year. Our previous work has shown that hydroponic gardens can enhance social interaction and reduce isolation in long-term care facilities. However, maintaining the gardens can be challenging for staff, affecting sustainability. This study aims to quantify the resources and effort needed to maintain a hydroponic tower in an on-site hospice residential care facility in Prince George Hospice Palliative Care Society, BC.

Objective: To quantify the amount of staff time, resources, and efforts necessary to safely maintain the hydroponic tower in an on-site hospice residential care facility.

Outcomes and Anticipated Benefits: Findings from this work describe the time and human resources necessary to ensure hydroponic gardening is safe and feasible for use in care setting. Use of a hydroponic garden to support persons nearing end of life was perceived as meaningful for staff as well as clients and their families. Further, areas for program improvement including feedback on opportunities to enhance functionality and adaptability of the Just Vertical technology for northern settings.


Hui Jun Chew 

Title: Outbreaks in LTC During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Experiences of LTC Staff in Northern British Columbia

Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic presented significant and unprecedented challenges for those in long-term care facilities (LTCF). Not only did many LTC residents have underlying medical conditions, resulting in higher risk of severe disease, they also lived in congregate living environments with close contact to other LTC residents and staff. LTC staff had to manage significant challenges when providing care to residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, that escalated to crisis-levels during COVID-19 outbreaks. The purpose of this study was to explore the observations and experiences of LTC staff working during outbreaks in Northern British Columbia during COVID-19.

Methods: A qualitative exploration of LTC staff experiences during COVID-19 was conducted and semi-structured interviews were performed with staff, including nurses, care aides, recreation staff, and leadership. Data were analyzed thematically using Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis approach. Results: Participants reported a wide range of perspectives on experiences of providing care to LTC residents during COVID-19, including experiences during lockdowns and breakouts. Participants highlighted that resource shortages, health human resource challenges, and difficulties in navigating rapidly changing guidelines and directives shaped their experience.

Conclusion: This research provides insight as to the experiences of LTC staff working during a health crisis in the North as well as the types of support and resources needed for LTC residents and staff, thereby informs and provides actionable insights for those in positions of leadership in healthcare settings in northern, rural or remote settings


Hui Jun Chew 

Title: Communications and Connections via Technology During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Experiences of LTC Staff in Northern British Columbia 

Introduction: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health of British Columbia (BC) implemented new processes and policies to limit the spread of COVID-19 in long term care (LTC) homes. This led to changes in technology use for persons living in LTC homes, their families and friends, as well as the paid workforce dedicated to caring for them.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to understand the role of technology and its impact on the experiences of LTC staff working in Northern BC during COVID-19.

Methods: A secondary analysis was conducted using transcripts of one-hour semi-structured interviews from 53 participants from the LTC Staff Working During COVID-19 in Northern BC study – transcripts of participants who discussed any kind of technology use were included. The qualitative data was analysed thematically using Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis approach. Results: Many participants reported having to adapt to new and innovative uses of technology to communicate and collaborate with medical and health care professionals external to the LTC homes. Participants described use of video-conferencing technology in virtual visits for LTC residents to see their families, along with streaming services to support recreational activities, including live music, spiritual services, and other live group activities. LTC residents required significant support from staff to participate in virtual activities. As well, participants identified barriers, such as inadequate internet infrastructure and scheduling challenges in the context of severe staff shortages.