Seeing the Person Not the Diagnosis – a Humanised Approach to Dementia Care Education
Start date: 21 June 2018
Worldwide the numbers of those with dementia is increasing (Alzheimer’s Disease International 2015) and nurses will be caring for people with dementia and their families in all care settings. The importance of seeing the person not the diagnosis is key if humanised, person centred care is to be achieved. Yet in clinical practice staff can find caring for people with dementia emotionally demanding which is exacerbated by a lack of understanding of dementia (Heaslip and Board 2012). This paper will provide examples of how simulated learning has been used in undergraduate nurse education, to provide learners with an opportunity to understand the lived experience of dementia. Simulation-based education in health care settings provides a safe space for students to replicate real world situations, practicing core skills whilst protecting patients from unnecessary risks. Simulated learning can be delivered through a wide spectrum of activities including video, vignettes, role playing, body manikins, virtual reality and augmented reality (ASPiH and HEE, 2016; Lateef, 2010). In this paper examples of using one of these approaches in an HEI setting to large groups of undergraduate students (n=400) will be shared emphasising the challenges and outcomes of this approach. We will share some work we are doing with Alzheimer’s Research UK evaluating their A Walk Through Dementia (AWTD) App which is a 3D film developed with people with dementia to help others understand the lived experience of dementia. This paper will present the undergraduate perspectives of the AWTD app and how it has influenced their practice and see the person beyond the diagnosis.