Nursing needs of hospitalized older adults. Consumer and nurse perceptions.

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Journal Article
Journal of gerontological nursing, 2003, 29 (9), pp. 32 - 55
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The proportion of older adults is increasing in Australia, and the proportion of older adults requiring medical care is expected to increase in the future. At the same time, budget restrictions are a reality for Australia's health system. Increasing need and decreasing resources suggest the need to focus on the quality aspect of treatment and care for older adults. Little research has been conducted in the area of perceived nursing needs of elderly patients during hospitalization. This is an important area of research because it is increasingly recognized that elderly patients have specialized needs and are the major consumers of health care. Even less research has compared patient and carer perceptions with those of nursing staff. This article is a literature review and an investigation of the quality of care elderly patients receive, and of patient and nurse perceptions of the importance of various nursing activities. Quality of care is reviewed in terms of perceptions of nursing care priorities and elderly patients' satisfaction with the quality of nursing care they receive. Research examining nurses' perceptions related to why they are unable to consistently provide quality nursing care to all elderly patients is also reviewed. By identifying the nursing needs of elderly patients and educating nursing staff about these needs, professional practice can be guided and improvements in quality of care, patient satisfaction, and patient outcomes may occur.
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