An innovative Delirium Care Project launched at St George Hospital on Wednesday will help health practitioners recognise and manage the condition which occurs in up to 50 per cent of older patients admitted to hospital.
But the acute reversible condition known as delirium, often remains unrecognised.
Patients with delirium are more vulnerable to illness and at risk of a fall or serious injury, which could result in a life-changing relocation into a nursing home.
The Delirium Care Project was developed by the Aged and Dementia Health Education Research (ADHERe) program at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in collaboration with South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, Illawarra and Shoalhaven Local Health District and the Agency for Clinical Innovation.
The initiative uses a mix of role-playing, face-to-face learning and online education to raise awareness and understanding about delirium care and to improve the skills of clinicians working with patients.
Associate Professor Victoria Traynor from UOW’s School of Nursing said the use of patient scenarios set this program apart from other training approaches.
‘’We're complementing traditional education activities with our clinical examinations to provide practitioners with an opportunity to implement their new understanding about delirium and demonstrate its use in a simulated practical situation,’’ Prof Traynor said.