Dementia Patient Communication Analysis

Decent Essays
Caring for a patient with dementia in an acute care setting requires an immense amount of patience and clinical support. As the article mentioned, the majority of these patients are being treated for their main diagnosis in addition to other chronic comorbidities, but unfortunately this does not always include their dementia. It is imperative and the importance is often overlooked regarding effective communication for these patients and their families. Regarding communication that works well with dementia patients includes an essential component of adjusting the environment. Close the door to the hallway to decrease noise and distraction, ask permission to turn on a gentle light and turn down the television, then tend to the basic needs the…show more content…
This puts added responsibility and pressure on the care team to ‘do no harm’ and abide by the patient’s previously stated wishes if available. In an acute care setting, patients advancing diseases processes can require many unwanted (and sometimes unnecessary) medical interventions. With that said, I encourage care teams to put themselves in place of the patient’s family and not only be their provider, but their voice and protector. There was this 92 year old women with sepsis and dementia who we lost two peripheral IV’s on, therefore requiring two new IV’s and not a candidate for a central line. From the hallway, her distress was apparent from her screaming and crying, all the while trying to bite and punch the nurses and nurse aides as new lines were attempted. The care team was frustrated and their communication in the patient’s room aligned with the situation at hand but was inappropriate for a advanced dementia patient. Having taken care of this patient before, this RN entered the room, grabbed the patient’s free hand, and came eye to eye asking the patient what was wrong. With tears in her eyes she clearly and blatantly exclaimed, “I don’t want to do any of this anymore. Please no more.” At that moment, her behavior was understood leading to care that aligned with her
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