A first of it’s kind nursing placement in dementia care will take place at Tamahere Eventide.
It’s hoped the new nursing placement will attract more graduates to the aged care sector and specifically, dementia care.
Tamahere Eventide Home and Retirement Village, together with the Waikato District Health Board and Wintec, have developed a unit to increase the skill level of the students, reported the Waikato Times.
Tamahere Eventide general manager for care services Jenni Marshall said the dedicated education unit (DEU) is the first-of-it’s-kind in the Waikato and is already in use in Canterbury.
“The nursing students are normally on placement, you might have four at a time maximum. The students would be out on the floor with the staff, but their tutor would only be here every now or again,” she said.
“This training is far more in-depth, we’ll now have 10 students rostered within the dementia wings, and they’ll be involved with every aspect of the facility. Attending therapies, to rehabilitation and nutrition.”
I would like to think the students have such a good experience, they will want to continue to work in dementia care, said Marshall.
“I hope aged care won’t be seen as the last resort. In the hospital, nurses can ring a doctor but in aged care you have to know a bit about everything and make a judgement call.”
The philosophy behind the DEU concept is based on a clinical learning environment that centres around the students. The students are supported by both the education and clinical institutions.
Marshall said she expects by the end of the training, the students will be far more progressive than previous training had allowed.
“We should pick up any issues right at the start instead of down the line,” she said.
“For us, we’re still to see it, but it’s been known that call bells are answered quicker, falls are reduced. There are a lot of benefits in the short and the long term.
“[The students’] tutor is there for 20 hours a week and a clinical nurse that the retirement village provide, will be there for 20 hours, so effectively there is someone available for the students 40 hours a week.”
The benefits of working collaboratively with the DHB and a tertiary institution is that it builds more of a community atmosphere, said Marshall.
“It’s a continual thing, when the new hospital (building work due to start in 2016) is up and running, we’ll be able to take the student right through to their last practice.”