Dementia Training Australia has launched an online learning platform featuring short and flexible courses designed to help time-poor aged care staff complete the training.
DTA is a consortium of experts and dementia educators, led by the University of Wollongong, funded by the Federal Government to deliver national education and training to health and aged care staff who provide care to people with dementia.
The topics covered in the four e-learning courses include antipsychotics in residential care and understanding dementia in the community and acute care settings.
The mobile-friendly courses have been designed to support learning on the go and feature video case studies, downloadable tools and quizzes.
DTA executive director Professor Richard Fleming said DTA has used its research partnerships and a knowledge translation framework to ensure the training was based on the most up-to-date, implementation-ready evidence.
“This research-based approach extends to DTA’s e-learning, which is designed around emerging evidence on how people learn and retain information,” Professor Fleming said.
He said the DTA was conscious of the limitations of a time-poor workforce and statistics on non-completion of online courses, which could be as high as 90 per cent.
“With this in mind we are building a flexible e-learning platform of short courses, which are typically under four hours each and can be completed over a realistic time frame, usually two weeks.”
DTA is also looking at post-learning follow-up quizzes to help knowledge stick after the course has finished, he said.
Reducing BPSD among residents
One of the new courses is focused on the management of antipsychotic medications in residential aged care facilities.
It aims to provide practical guidance for implementing latest evidence on the use of antipsychotics to reduce the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.
The course explores the following scenario in a video case study:
Derek is 68 and living with Alzheimer’s disease in a residential care home. Gentle by nature, he loves to paint landscapes. One day he becomes distressed and physically aggressive towards a nurse when he thinks he sees snakes in his room. His care worker intervenes, and is able to calm him by showing him one of his paintings.
Derek’s care plan is adjusted, and his care team makes some changes, including changing the lighting and bedding in his room. However, Derek continues to be distressed and aggressive, particularly in the evenings. The care team decides to consider medicating Derek.
The course is divided into three steps and is estimated to take around two hours to complete over two weeks.
The other e-learning programs are aimed at promoting knowledge and understanding of dementia among the community and home care workforce as well as nurses and other professionals working in hospitals.
The courses, which are free to the learner, begin from 1 August and will be repeated monthly. Registrations opened on 20 July.
See DTA’s website for more information.
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