A multicentre survey of acute hospital nursing staff training in dementia care

Alice Coffey, Mark Tyrrell, Mary Buckley, Edmund Manning, Vanessa Browne, Aoife Barrett, Suzanne Timmons


Purpose: This paper reports on results of a study to identify education needs of nurses in acute care environments regarding dementia care in Ireland.

Method: As part of a multicentre study of dementia prevalence and in-hospital course, a survey was conducted with nurses (n=151) in six acute hospitals in the south of Ireland. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics.

Findings: Despite the availability of a national dementia education programme across all care services, 83% of acute hospital nursing staff perceived that they had insufficient training in dementia care, reflecting the known poor uptake of offered dementia education in acute hospitals. Over two thirds of nurses felt that education on dementia specific communication strategies was insufficient or unavailable. Nurses also reported insufficient knowledge with regard to pain assessment in patients with dementia, or alternatives to physical or chemical restraint. This lack of knowledge has implications for quality of care and may have consequences for safety of patients with dementia in acute hospitals in Ireland.

Conclusion: With the expected growth in prevalence of dementia worldwide, more people with dementia will access acute hospital care. Education and training to improve dementia care needs to be prioritised in acute hospitals at senior level.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/cns.v2n4p39


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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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