Caring for an older person with dementia in the Emergency Department (ED): an appreciative inquiry exploring family member and ED nurse experiences

Sarah Watkins, Fiona Murphy, Catriona Kennedy, Belinda Dewar, Margaret Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Aims and objectives
To generate insights about what matters and is valued by family members of older people with dementia in the Emergency Department. To explore the experiences of emergency nurses looking after older people with dementia in an episode of care.

Background
In the emergency department older people with dementia are at risk of suboptimal care. Little is known of the experiences of family members of being with an older person with dementia in the Emergency Department or the experiences of emergency nurses looking after older people with dementia in this environment.

Design and methods
Phase 1 Data Analysis of the Discovery Phase of an Appreciative Inquiry study. Study participants were family members of older people with dementia and emergency nurses. Data collection methods included interviews with family members of older people with dementia and 30 hours of participant observation working alongside emergency nurses. This study was guided by the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research.

Results
Two themes emerged from the analysis: What matters to family members with four sub-themes and Challenges for family members and nurses in the ED with two sub-themes.

Conclusion
This study demonstrates that some emergency nurses are connecting with family members even in the briefest of clinical encounters. It is feasible for more emergency nurses to do the same more of the time.

Relevance to clinical practice
The older person with dementia must be given a triage category of no less than 3 (to be seen by the doctor within the hour) on arrival in the department. Further education is needed to assist emergency nurses to establish rapport and incorporate family member insights as part of care planning and assessment of the needs of the older person with dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2801-2812
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Volume28
Issue number15-16
Early online date4 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Emergency nurses
  • dementia care
  • appreciative enquiry
  • experiences
  • family members

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