Evidence and Practice

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Clinical

Exploring nursing students’ knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease

Why you should read this article: • To be aware of the importance of dementia education in informing the provision of high-quality care • To recognise the strengths and gaps in nursing students’ knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease • To consider ways in which dementia education could be improved for future cohorts Background As the number of people with a diagnosis of dementia continues to increase, it is essential that nurses have the skills required to provide high-quality care. However, there may be gaps in dementia teaching in undergraduate nurse education programmes in the UK. Aim To assess knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease among one cohort of third-year nursing students to improve the education content of the dementia module at Oxford Brookes University, England. Method A total of 35 participants completed the Alzheimer’s Disease Knowledge Scale, a validated tool that measures knowledge about risk factors, assessment and diagnosis, symptoms, course (disease progression), life impact, caregiving, and treatment and management. Data were analysed using quantitative methods. Results Participating students appeared to have greater knowledge about dementia in relation to treatment and management, life impact, caregiving, and assessment and diagnosis, and less knowledge about risk factors, course and symptoms. This may be because the focus of teaching is on caregiving and medical treatment. Conclusion This study identified strengths and gaps in nursing students’ knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease. The results have informed recommendations for ways to improve the education content of the dementia module for future cohorts and to enhance dementia education in nursing, health and social care undergraduate programmes in general.

Using procalcitonin testing to guide treatment decisions in care homes

Using procalcitonin testing to guide treatment decisions in care homes

PCT may be beneficial in identifying and treating bacterial infections in older people

Reframing nurses’ time to enhance interpersonal interactions in dementia care

Reframing nurses’ time to enhance interpersonal interactions in dementia care

Learn about techniques that you can use to be more ‘present’ with people with dementia

Prevention of pressure ulcers in older people with frailty

Prevention of pressure ulcers in older people with frailty

Identify interventions you could use in your practice to prevent and manage pressure ulcers

Integrating oral care into nursing practice in care homes

Integrating oral care into nursing practice in care homes

Learn about some measures that could support nurses to implement high-quality oral care

Estimating the cost of an individualised music intervention for aged care residents with dementia

Estimating cost of a music intervention for aged care residents with dementia

Individualised music listening has been shown to reduce agitation and improve mood

CPD articles

Improving nutrition and hydration in older people with dementia in care homes

Why you should read this article: • To understand the importance of optimal nutritional care in care home residents with dementia • To explore person-centred interventions to improve the food and drink intake of older people with dementia • To contribute towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD (UK readers) • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers) Dementia can have significant adverse effects on people’s ability to eat and drink sufficiently. People with dementia can experience malnutrition and unintentional weight loss at any stage of the condition, but these occur more often in the middle and late stages. It is important that nurses and care staff working in care homes have the appropriate knowledge and skills to provide optimal nutritional care to residents, thereby improving their health, well-being and quality of life. This article provides an overview of nutrition and hydration issues commonly experienced by people with dementia. It explores common causes of suboptimal nutrition and hydration, outlines tools for nutritional screening and assessment and discusses interventions to improve the nutritional care of care home residents with dementia.

Frailty: an overview of concepts, risk factors, assessment tools and interventions

Frailty: an overview of concepts, risk factors, assessment tools and interventions

Increase your knowledge of how to assess, prevent and reduce frailty

‘Guiding Lights for effective workplace cultures’: enhancing the care environment for staff and patients in older people’s care settings

‘Guiding Lights for effective workplace cultures’

Enhancing the care environment for staff and patients in older people’s care settings

Implementing COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures in long-term care settings

COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures in long-term care settings

Enhance your knowledge of infection prevention measures to reduce risk of COVID transmission

Demonstrating empathy when communicating with older people

Demonstrating empathy when communicating with older people

Empathy is integral to communication with older people and central to person-centred care

Supporting older people experiencing anxiety through non-pharmacological interventions

Supporting older people experiencing anxiety through non-pharmacological interventions

Anxiety is a debilitating condition that adversely affects people’s quality of life

How to

Hearing loss

How to address the communication needs of older patients with hearing loss

Hearing loss is a common problem in older people and may have a negative effect on their care while in hospital, as well as resulting in significant cost to the NHS. This article outlines the findings of a two-year project in an NHS trust to improve the care of older people with hearing loss. An important outcome of the project was the development of a hearing loss toolkit containing good practice recommendations and tools to help staff in all NHS trusts, and other care settings, implement practical and cost-effective improvements.

Planning

How to use advance care planning in a care home

Admission to a care home is a major event for many individuals and, for some, a time when they may lose their independence. It is at this juncture that they should be given the opportunity to participate in planning their future care. An advance care plan (ACP) is a means for people with capacity to document their preferences for their care and to enable providers to advocate on their behalf. Some people will have lost mental capacity before admission to a care facility, so it is essential for staff to be familiar with the complexities of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to support residents approaching the end of life. This article outlines the processes of ACP and identifies resources available to support the introduction of ACP into care homes.

Practice question

How can person-centred strategies improve dementia care?

An empathetic approach to care can help people with dementia retain a sense of self

How do I use the 4AT tool for delirium?

Delirium is time-critical, but can be identified with a simple bedside test

Build your nursing expertise with the help of communities of practice

Participation enhances your career and develops new, diverse practices

How do I get involved in nursing research?

Nursing and care staff can enhance patient outcomes by expanding their research knowledge

How can advanced nursing practice improve integrated health and social care services?

Advanced nurse practitioners caring for older people need to raise the role’s profile

How can I support rehabilitation of care home residents after COVID-19?

Nurses have a key role in the rehabilitation of people in long-term care

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