Reflective accounts

Agitation

A CPD article enhanced Clair Salt’s knowledge of how to recognise and reduce agitation in older people

A CPD article enhanced Clair Salt’s knowledge of how to recognise and reduce agitation in older people.

Abstract

As a staff nurse on a surgical step-down unit, I care for patients with surgical needs who require monitoring.

The majority of these patients are over 50 years, and many of them experience acute episodes of agitation and delirium. These episodes often result from physical conditions, such as sepsis, dehydration and liver disease.

The article improved my knowledge of the causes of agitation and delirium. It provided useful guidance on how to assess and reduce agitation, as well as explaining the importance of environmental factors and staff communication.

The table differentiating between the symptoms of dementia, delirium and depression is a useful resource, since it is common for healthcare professionals to misdiagnose delirium in older adults as dementia. I intend to make a pocket guide detailing this information and share it with my colleagues.

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This reflective account is based on NS786 Pritchard JC, Brighty A (2015) Caring for older people experiencing agitation. Nursing Standard. 29, 30, 49-58.

 

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