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Final year nursing students’ experiences of palliative care for people with dementia: a qualitative study / Tessa Watts

International Conference for Networking for Education in HealthCare

Swansea University Author: Tessa Watts

Abstract

Globally dementia prevalence is increasing. When set against ageing populations’ adult field nurses will inevitably encounter far more people affected by advanced dementia in the future. Caring for these people is skilled, knowledgeable work. However, international concern has been expressed about s...

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Published in: International Conference for Networking for Education in HealthCare
Published: Cambridge, UK 2013
Online Access: http://www.jillrogersassociates.co.uk/net2013abstractsandcorepapers.html
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa15757
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Abstract: Globally dementia prevalence is increasing. When set against ageing populations’ adult field nurses will inevitably encounter far more people affected by advanced dementia in the future. Caring for these people is skilled, knowledgeable work. However, international concern has been expressed about suboptimal, inappropriate care standards and health professionals’ educational preparation. There is however a paucity of research exploring how adult field nursing students learn to care for those with advanced dementia. This study explored final year adult field nurses’ experiences of learning to care for people affected by advanced dementia. A qualitative design was adopted and the setting was a research-focused university in Wales, UK. Eleven adult field nursing undergraduates approaching programme completion participated. Data were collected using individual in-depth interviews in early 2013. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic interpretive analysis. Findings revealed that participants valued and aspired to patient-centred advanced dementia care. However, they felt insufficiently prepared and thus out of their depth for what they appreciated was skilled, knowledgeable work requiring interpersonal competence and confidence. Moreover, whilst evidence of a theory-practice gap emerged, participants appreciated that many practitioners were insufficiently prepared for advanced dementia care themselves. The study provided further evidence of the complexity of caring for those with advanced progressive illnesses, in this case advanced dementia and the associated knowledge and skills gap of students and practitioners. There are important implications for education in terms of curriculum development and learning from and in practice.
Keywords: Advanced Dementia, Palliative Care Nurse Education
College: College of Human and Health Sciences