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Delirium Part 2: Tools and Techniques for Screening and Assessment

presented by Kathleen Fletcher, RN, DNP, GNP-BC, FAAN and Heather Teller, BSN, BA, RN, CMSRN, GRN

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Financial— Kathleen Fletcher and Heather Teller receive compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Video Runtime: 29 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 30 Minutes

Delirium can be difficult to recognize and distinguish between other mental disorders such as dementia and depression. This second course, in a series of three on delirium, gives nurses in all settings a framework for identifying the various features of each of the 3 D's (delirium, dementia, and depression,) and provides guidance on recognizing when the presentation may be a mixed form. Because the presentation may not be obvious, the routine use of evidence-based tools is recommended. Several of these tools will be discussed. Family members and all members of the health care team can be instrumental is observing and reporting changes in mental status to a health care professional.

Meet Your Instructors

Kathleen Fletcher, RN, DNP, GNP-BC, FAAN

Kathleen Fletcher is currently working as a PRN staff nurse at the Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health and as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. She maintains a hands-on role, working as a clinician, educator, and researcher in gerontology for more than 35 years. She…

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Heather Teller, BSN, BA, RN, CMSRN, GRN

Heather Teller is a Virginia-based nurse educator and acute care facility staff development coordinator. For the past eight years, she has worked on the subject of delirium as part of an interdisciplinary team at Riverside Health System. During that time, she developed the nursing education program to help reduce hospital-acquired delirium and aid in the…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Presenting Features of Delirium, Dementia, Depression, and Mixed Forms

Nurses in all settings need to able to recognize that delirium, dementia, and depression are common mental disorders in the elderly. They need to be able to assess if delirium is the primary concern, or if it coexists with dementia and/or depression, in order to tailor and modify the plan of care accordingly. This chapter will help nurses distinguish between presenting features of the 3 Ds.

2. Evidence-Based Screening Tools and Techniques for Delirium

The routine use of a standardized delirium screening is the most effective way of screening due to the fluctuating nature of delirium. In addition, there are techniques and approaches that may be helpful in the assessment of delirium. In this chapter, several screening tools will be discussed.

3. Role of the Family and Care Team Members in the Identification of Changes in Mental Status

In all settings, nurses work with families and members of the interprofessional team. This chapter focuses on the important role of caregivers in identifying and reporting on mental status changes.

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