Joanna Rudakiewicz explores the role nurses have in ensuring safe, effective and efficient care for people who have difficulty swallowing
Nurses working in nursing homes will care for residents who have dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, on a regular basis. Clear, evidence-based guidelines are necessary for all staff to be able to meet the needs of these residents safely and efficiently. A multidisciplinary approach is important to ensure accurate assessment, devise appropriate care and achieve specific goals. Equipment such as valved beakers, rimmed plates and non-slip mats will help maintain safety during mealtimes. Prescription items, such as fluid thickeners and anticholinergic medication, help to manage the condition and provide comfort during mealtimes and in between. Robust education and training should be in place for all nursing and care staff who care for residents with the condition.
Nursing Older People. 27, 4, 29-33. doi: 10.7748/nop.27.4.29.e694Correspondence
This article has been subject to double blind peer reviewConflict of interest
Received: 23 February 2015
Accepted: 27 March 2015
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