Exploring Nurses’ Knowledge and Practice of Delirium Recognition and Assessment
Delirium is a brain disorder which is described as ‘disturbed’ consciousness and is one of the most misunderstood phenomena within acute care. This dissertation provides a critical review of the literature surrounding nurses’ knowledge and practice of delirium recognition and assessment. Themes that emerged from the literature review were different types of assessment tools and some of the barriers to implementing delirium recognition and assessment. These have helped to develop the aims for the research proposal. The aims of the research proposal are to explore nurses’ knowledge of delirium; nurses’ practice of delirium recognition and assessment and to understand some of the triggers to initiating delirium assessment. The study will be underpinned by a theoretical framework and is inductive and exploratory. Ten nurses in a Scottish general hospital will be invited to take part in a one hour long interview about their experiences of recognising and assessing delirium in practice. Participants will be able to share their thoughts, feelings and perceptions during semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Vignettes will be created collaboratively with colleagues from practice to illustrate a patient with hypoactive delirium. The participants will be provided with a vignette prior to their interview to prompt participants’ memory of similar experiences of delirium from their practice. This will also assist the interviewer to explore nurses’ knowledge and decision making in relation to delirium recognition and assessment. The qualitative data collected from the research will provide insight into the lived experiences of nurses’ who have recognised and assessed those with delirium in hospital. It is anticipated that the findings from this research will be an enlightening and useful source for nurses caring for those with delirium. It is also hoped that the findings will also inform nurses’ practice of delirium recognition and assessment in the future.