Dementia Awareness in Northern Nursing Practice

Mary Ellen Andrews, Debra G. Morgan, Norma J. Stewart

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to identify key concepts in dementia care from the perspective of registered nurses working in the Canadian north. Interviews were conducted with RNs employed in small, remote northern communities about their experiences with dementia assessment and caregiving and their perceptions about dementia care resources. The grounded theory method used in analyzing the interview data led to the development of a theory about dementia awareness in northern nursing practice. The study identified 3 categories of conditions that influence northern RNs' awareness of dementia: dementia care and community caregiving, characteristics of the northern RN, and northern nursing worklife. The findings suggest the need for educational programs and health-care policies that increase awareness of dementia in northern nursing practice and thereby improve the care provided to northern people.

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