Michaella Miller

PhD, Public Health Sciences
Michaella Miller


PhD Public Health Sciences

My thesis

My research investigates the working conditions in long-term care for direct care workers and how staffing characteristics impact quality of care. A heightened focus on care quality within the sector occurred during the pandemic; however, this resulted in more regulatory enforcement and penalties for facilities while they are experiencing extreme staffing shortages. The long-term care sector is highly regulated and task-oriented with very little flexibility to adjust to care demands.  Facing staffing shortages, ongoing covid outbreaks, and intensified investigations have contributed to increased moral distress, stress, anxiety, and burnout of the healthcare workforce and ultimately driving healthcare workers to leave their jobs.  

My research is informed by double-bind theory: an organizational pragmatic paradox where two demands for action cancel each other out, creating situations where the “right” action can never be done. I use a critical feminist lens to help dismantle the historical political landscape that has contributed to the distribution of resources and regulatory control within the sector to inform policy and practice improvement. Healthcare workers deserve to have quality of work-life and the resources to be able to provide the care their residents need.  

My time in the School of Public Health Sciences

The School of Public Health Sciences (SPHS) has been incredibly supportive of my development as a scholar and doctoral student. I completed my undergraduate and master's degree within SPHS and have had incredible opportunities to work with and learn from experts in my field. I was drawn to SPHS because of the unique scholarship in gerontology and the multidisciplinary environment facilitating partnerships across sectors.