Gerontology within district nurse education

Authors

  • Elaine Ryder MSc BA RGN DN Cert PWT Cert Ed RNT DNT

    1. Senior Lecturer, Community Health Care, School of Health Care Studies, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford OX3 OBP, England
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Abstract

This paper describes a research study designed to explore approaches to integrating gerontological principles within district nurse education courses Data were collected by a descriptive survey approach The findings of the study indicated that various approaches were used to incorporate gerontological content within the curriculum The district nurse lecturer emerged as the crucial link in ensuring subject material related to the specialism of district nursing, and the community practice teacher was significant in enabling students to relate gerontological theory to practice-based learning The district nurse lecturer also emerged as supportive of the multi-disciplinary nature of gerontology by encouraging shared learning activities with a range of other community health care students Against the background of major changes in community health care delivery, district nurses are identifying areas of expertise within their role as community health care nurses One such area of expertise lies in the care of older people within the community, who form a high percentage of patients on the district nurse's caseload In order to ensure that district nurses are effectively prepared to meet the specialist needs of older people, district nurse education courses must incorporate gerontological content within their programmes

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