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According to numerous studies, elderly people (those over the age of 65) already occupy 50% of hospital beds and account for 85% of all hospital admissions.
The person to contact is Sherry Dahlke, RN, MSN, GNC(C), School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, 2329 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
This document has been downloaded by [University Of British Columbia].
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S. Dahlke and C. Fehrof home care visits, and they occupy 90% of nursing home beds (Bednash,Fagin, & Mezy, 2003; Ploncznski et al., 2007; Rotermann, 2005), and they are the fastest growing demographic in Canada and globally (Bednash,Fagin, & Mezy, 2003; Ploncznski et al., 2007; Rotermann, 2005). (StatisticsCanada, 2006; World Health Organization, 2007).
In Canada, this means that health-care spending per age group increases after the age of 70, owing to increased healthcare consumption (Canadian Institute of Health Information [CIHI], 2009).
This also means that older people make up a major portion of the practice of health-care practitioners.
As a result, all health-care providers in a variety of practice settings must be well-educated to care for an aging population.
Unfortunately, many health care providers are equipped to handle the unique needs of the elderly (Bernard, 2008; Rowan etal., 2009).
Basic nursing education does not pay enough attention to the special needs of elderly people when it comes to preparing future registered nurses (RNs) (Baumbusch & Goldenberg, 2000; Baumbusch & Andrusyszyn, 2002; Earthy,1993; Gilje, Lacey, & Moore, 2007; King, 2004).
While striving to find suitable acute care clinical practice environments for student nurses, a Canadian university-college faculty began to notice deficiencies in their curriculum on educational needs for older adults.
The first author of this work was tasked with developing a gerontological-focused clinical practice for third-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) students that utilized clinical settings that were not currently being used.
Following the first semester’s presentation of this clinical practice, the curriculum committee conducted an evaluation to assess the success of the gerontological-focused practice and to notify clinical instructors of necessary adjustments to improve future offerings.
The goal of this article is to (1) identify the context of what is known about nursing education and olderadult care in the literature, (2) explain the goals and hopes of developing this practice, (3) outline how the practice was structured, and (4) share what we learned from evaluating the first and subsequent offerings.
AN EXAMINATION OF THE WORKS OF OTHER AUTHORITIES
Minimal adjustments to basic undergraduate nursing curricula have been identified to facilitate nurses’ growing interaction with older persons, according to researchers (Baumbusch & Andrusyszyn, 2002; Bednash et al., 2003; Earthy, 1993;Ebersole & Touchy, 2006; Joy, Carter, & Smith, 2000; Lach, 2007; Plonczynskiet al., 2007).
Nursing schools argue whether to include a specific course on older adult care in their curriculum or to incorporate older adult care information into their overall curriculum.
According to recent studies in Canada, less than 10% of student nurses’ clinical time is spent in an older adult context, and roughly half of all nursing students [University Of British Columbia] have downloaded this paper.
At 20:16 on June 26, 2010,
Putting a Gerontological Clinical Nursing Practice into Practice 135 programs do not provide specific older adult courses; instead, they claim to include older adult topics into their curriculum (Baumbusch & Andrusyszyn, 2002;Earthy, 1993).
Despite claims of integration, just 5% of older adult content was integrated into a range of fundamental undergraduate nursing courses, according to research (Plonczynski et al., 2006).
The low percentage of nursing faculty (5%) with older adult experience could explain this lack of integration (Baumbusch & Andrusyszyn, 2002; Earthy, 1993).
As a result, student nurses learn about nursing practice with older persons from teachers who lack experience and through curricula that have little theoretical content and practical experience with older adults.
Student nurses frequently learn about older adult care in acute care units where the focus is on the medical speciality (e.g., orthopedics) rather than the specialized requirements of the elderly.
Furthermore, student nurses’ first encounters with older people are frequently in residential care settings, where they learn basic physical care and drug administration (Williams, Nowak, & Scobee, 2006).
The complicated care needs of severely and chronically unwell older individuals are not taken into account in these procedures (Aud,Bostick, Dorman Marek, & McDaniel, 2006; Baumbusch & Goldenberg, 2000;Holroyd, Dahlke, Fehr, Jung, & Hunter, 2009; E. McLafferty, 2005).
Rather, these methods foster the myth that caring for elderly people does not necessitate specialist knowledge and that simply working with them will endow nurses with expertise (Aud et al.. 2006; Holroyd et al., 2009; King,2004).
Because BSN programs do not include gerontology, freshly graduating nurses must learn the complexities of caring for older individuals in the clinical setting from “seasoned” nurses who are often unfamiliar with the unique needs of this group (Dahlke & Phinney, 2008; King, 2004; Lang,Wallace, Grossman, Lippman, & Novotny, 2006; I. McLafferty & Morrison,2004).
Even more concerning is the fact that nurses are learning how to care for older individuals in a hectic work environment (Dahlke & Phinney, 2008;King, 2004).
Furthermore, care delivery systems frequently do not meet the requirements of older people (Bernard, 2008; Chappell, Gee, McDonald, & Stones, 2003; Peek, Milson-Hawke, McMillian, & Harper, 2007), making it more difficult for students and nurses to adopt best practices with seniors.
A holistic approach, an emphasis on the olderadult’s function, and interdisciplinary approaches to care are generally prioritized in models of care that have been demonstrated to be beneficial with an older population (Amador, Reed, &Lehman, 2007; Baztan et al., 2009)
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