Nursing: Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease: Biological Processes and Behavioral Management

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About the Course

This course provides an overview of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the biological processes related to AD, the criteria for its diagnosis, and key approaches which nurses can adopt in order to better understand, prevent, and effectively respond to the challenging behaviors demonstrated by patients who experience dementia, and specifically AD.  The role of the nurse in the care of persons with dementia is incorporated throughout and provides information that brings new knowledge to both the experienced and less experienced nurse.  Reinforcing key concepts of how to care for the person with AD and other dementia's, this knowledge, in turn, will ensure that the care delivered to this group of society’s vulnerable older adults is evidence-based, patient-centered, and individually tailored to meet their changing needs, while optimizing care, maintaining quality of life, and when possible, improving health outcomes.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Differentiate Alzheimer’s disease (AD) from other types of cognitive impairments.
  • Describe the biological processes involved in AD.
  • Explain how AD is diagnosed and the impact nurses can have on patient and family outcomes.
  • Discuss common principles and models for understanding, preventing, and responding to the challenging behaviors of patients with AD.

This course is an extract of, and should not be taken with the course Alzheimer's Disease: Definitions, Diagnostics, and Patient-Centered Care.

About the Author:
Jacqueline Close, PhD, APRN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA

Jacqueline Close, PhD, APRN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA, received a bachelor of science in nursing degree from Corpus Christi State University, a master of science in nursing from Point Loma Nazarene University, and a doctor of philosophy in nursing from the University of San Diego. Her dissertation research examined the documentation of a systematic assessment for delirium in hospitalized older adult patients who had been medicated with select antipsychotic medications.  Currently a clinical associate professor in the Master’s Entry Program in nursing and the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Program at the University of San Diego, Dr. Close has been a practicing nurse for over 30 years. A board-certified gerontological clinical nurse specialist since 2008, her experience spans a number of nursing practice areas, including medical, surgical, orthopedic, critical care, gastroenterology, psychiatry, and gerontology. Areas of professional interest include delirium, dementia, palliative, fall prevention, and end-of-life care.  Dr. Close serves on the board and is very active in the National Gerontological Nursing Association and served as a member of the American Nurses Association Gerontological Nursing Scope & Standards of Practice revision and update in 2010. She is a member of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, the California Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, Sigma Theta Tau International, Zeta Mu at-Large Chapter, the American Nurses Association, and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

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