Alzheimers

  1. I'm a new grad and have just gotten my first nursing job. I'm going to be charge nurse in a locked alzheimer's unit. I've had experience working with developmentally disabled adults, have a great interest in psych nursing plus a minor in psychology, but am wondering if anyone can give me an idea of what to expect. I know it will take a little time to get to know the client's well enough that I can judge when a combative mood will strike. Any words of advice for this novice?
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   chris1
    Feel like a twit, sent an incomplete reply off by accident - Please post another message if you haven't received any helpful information - I am a Specialist nurse in dentia Care and will be happy to advise.
  4. by   505rn
    Congratulations! While working with this population can be very difficult it can also be very rewarding! I am an RN who has worked in long term care many years prior to working at an inpatient geri psych unit at a hospital- where we get the patients who became unmanageable at the nursing home. My number one piece of advice is remember, these patients have a limited tolerance for stimuli!!!!!! Depending upon what stage they are in, even talking to them to much can agitate them, as well as noise in the environment, or busy patterns or loud colors...which can cause them to fall our strike out. Do lots of reading, become familiar with the types of dementia, the progression, and areas of the brain which are affected, to help you to know what each resident with what diagnosis can possibly understand and/or what will "set them off" so you can avoid triggering an "episode". My number two piece of advice is that if someone's behavior begins to escalate/there is a change in behavior overall, assess for an infectious process or constipation- seems simple but in these patients one of the things that we see in those admitted to the hospital for out of control behavior is INFECTIONS, UTI's especially in the women and pneumonia or prostate trouble in the men, sometimes constipation is a problem. These people are so fragile that something as "simple" as a UTI can totally upset their "balance" or ability to be calm, which can then effect eating , drinking etc- which are usually already poor due to the disease. Good luck!!!!! They are a wonderful population to work with!!!!

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