International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleA reflection on nurse advocacy for the person experiencing dementia whilst an in-patient in the general and acute sector
Type of ArticleOriginal practice development and research
Author/sMo Boersma
ReferenceVolume 2, Issue 1, Article 1
Date of PublicationMay 2012
KeywordsCritical reflection, dementia, general and acute setting, nurse advocacy, person-centred care, working in partnership

Background: With the increasing older population it is recognised that the incidence of dementia is dramatically rising and subsequent to this is a higher incidence of people experiencing dementia needing care in the general and acute sector, as physical compromise is part of the aging process.

Aim: This research aimed to examine the role of one community mental health nurse (the author) acting as an advocate for the person experiencing dementia whilst an in-patient in the general and acute sector. Challenges encountered were explored with a view to improving practice and the patient experience.

Method: A reflective journal was used for data collection and four pieces of evidence were selected using an inclusion and exclusion criteria. Stephenson’s critical reflective framework was used to explore, analyse, interpret and test theory of my own practice.

Findings: Critical analysis revealed emerging themes which identified areas that challenge practice:

  • The need for increased understanding in dementia care
  • The need for improved effective communication
  • The impact of emotions on practice

Interpretation of the outcome of the findings in relation to broader research, evidence and practice context initiated recommendations which were significant to a personal development plan. The process of changing practice was discussed whilst giving consideration to potential barriers and the benefits of using a clinical practice improvement model.

Conclusion: The impact the research had on my own practice is discussed and recommendations for change were made that would impact positively on practice and the patient experience.

Implications for Practice:

  • Identify the possible impacts of critical reflection on professional practice
  • Recognise the potential neglect of the needs of the vulnerable client and my priorities for practice
  • Develop insight into how effective liaison can impact on the patient experience
  • Challenge my own assumptions in practice

This article by Mo Boersma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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