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Caring for older people with dementia in residential care: nursing students' experiences


Robinson, A and Cubit, K, Caring for older people with dementia in residential care: nursing students' experiences, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 59, (3) pp. 255-263. ISSN 0309-2402 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.4304.x


Aim. This paper is a report of selected findings from two projects aimed at improving nursing students' experiences of caring for older people in elder care settings. Background. With a growing number of older people the prevalence of dementia is rapidly increasing, such that it is now a primary reason for admission to residential care. This has implications for the preparation and support of nursing students on clinical placements as people with dementia represent a key focus of their nursing activities. Method. Two projects were conducted in Tasmania between 2001 and 2005, involving 87 second year Bachelor of Nursing students who participated in 3-week clinical placements in eight residential elder care facilities. During the placements, students and their mentors participated in a series of weekly focus group discussions to explore their experiences of caring for residents with dementia. Thematic analysis of the data was conducted. Findings. Staff in the facilities struggled to support students effectively and often failed to recognize that students found residents' behaviour disturbing. Despite having some theoretical understanding of dementia, students reported being unsure of how to respond to residents and often felt scared and intimidated. Conclusion. Better preparation and support are needed for students on placements involving residents with dementia. Feasible strategies for more effective support include increased curriculum content about caring for people with dementia, and improved collaboration between university schools of nursing and settings for care of older people. © 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Aged care nursing
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Robinson, A (Professor Andrew Robinson)
UTAS Author:Cubit, K (Ms Katrina Cubit)
ID Code:51025
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:46
Deposited By:Health Sciences B
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2011-10-12

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