Date of Award

Spring 2020

Project Type

Clinical Doctorate

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name


First Advisor

Lauryn Frost

Second Advisor

Bonnie Russell


Caring for dementia patients in the acute care setting can be challenging. Staff is trained to manage the acute illness and the symptoms of dementia can impact that care. Training for the care and management of the patient with dementia is not routinely provided for the acute care setting. According to the Alzheimer’s Association (2018), 5.7 million people are living with Alzheimer’s Dementia with the numbers projected to continue to rise. Training in the management of symptoms can alleviate stress and complications for not only the patient but staff members as well. The goal of this project is to educate inpatient nursing staff on methods to interact with the patient inflicted with dementia. Having a clear understanding of methods to decrease confusion, apprehension, and fear with this population will improve patient and family satisfaction of the care provided. A literature review was conducted to identify methods of engaging the patient, thus improving satisfaction rates. Staff members received training about distraction methods as well as techniques to engage the patient followed by a return demonstration. Interventions were evaluated with a post-implementation survey of knowledge satisfaction. Education was provided via an all-day seminar as well as in-services. The development of a toolbox to include everyday items assists staff members when engaging the patient with dementia. Pre and post-education surveys show an improvement in understanding methods to engage the patient with dementia thus reducing the need for safety sitters by 17.3% or 192 hours between quarter 1 and quarter 2.