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Susie Henley leads the free online course “The Many Faces of Dementia”, run by University College London (UCL). Here she explains the course and how you can sign up to learn more about rarer forms of dementia.

Susie Henley

Did you know that some forms of dementia can affect how people see the world around them? Or that they can cause problems with language and communication rather than just memory?

UCL’s popular, free online course, “The Many Faces of Dementia,” can teach you more about the lesser-known aspects of dementia.

The course uses videos from people with dementia, as well as discussions and articles from leading clinicians and researchers in the dementia field, to shed light on aspects of dementia that may come as a surprise.

It’s accessible, with jargon-free information; the online platform FutureLearn also means that you can dip in and out when you have time. You can complete the whole course by spending about two hours a week on it over the four-week run.

It’s a very sociable forum, with many learners commenting on the various steps and supporting each other as they learn about each other’s stories and reasons for being there.

Different aspects of dementia

Each week tackles a different aspect of dementia.

In week one, the course looks at Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD), rare forms of Alzheimer’s disease that are inherited, and how this affects the whole family. It also explores how research with members of these families has been enormously helpful in understanding the more common, non-inherited forms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Week two covers frontotemporal dementia (FTD), an umbrella term for a lesser-known cluster of young-onset dementias that can affect social skills and behaviour or language. In these forms of dementia, memory is relatively preserved in the early stages, so it’s very different to what most people think of as ‘dementia’. Often people with these forms of dementia have struggled to get a diagnosis and to understand what’s going on.

In the third week, we look at dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and typical features of this. This includes seeing things that aren’t there (hallucinations) or believing things that aren’t true (delusions). These symptoms can occur in other types of dementia, but tend to be a defining feature in dementia with Lewy bodies. We hear from families living with this dementia, and the professionals who try to help manage and minimise the impact of hallucinations.

Finally, week four talks about Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA), the rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease that author Terry Pratchett had. The course uses videos and pictures to show what life is like for someone with Posterior Cortical Atrophy, whose brain can no longer process visual and spatial information correctly.

 

Useful information for everyone

Whilst the course focuses on rarer dementia types, it’s also relevant to anyone working or living with people with all types of dementia. People with the more common forms of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia can also experience these sorts of symptoms at some point.

Learners to date have been a mixture of professionals, family members, students and people with dementia. We’ve had lots of very positive feedback about how useful the new information they’ve gleaned from the course is, and how they’ve learned from each other too.

Expert staff from UCL also pop in to answer questions and comments during the week; there is a special ‘Q&A’ feature at the end of each week, where the most popular learner questions are answered online every Sunday night.

So if you are interested in exploring a bit more about these sides of dementia, or you know someone who is, encourage them to sign up and have a look.

The Problem

Cavell Nurses’ Trust spoke to over 2,200 nurses, midwives and HCAs about financial hardship and deprivation, domestic abuse, health, illness, wellbeing and employment. Here’s what we found:

  • Nurses are nearly twice as likely as the average person to be unable to afford basic necessities like beds, washing machines and keeping their homes warm
  • Two in five nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants have a long-term physical or mental illness that limits their day-to-day activity
  • Nurses are 3 times more likely to have experienced domestic abuse in the last year

“This is appalling, and we’re taking action”

Will you be here for nurses?

Cavell Nurses’ Trust gives money and support to nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants (HCAs) who are facing financial hardship, often because of illness, domestic abuse and the effects of older age. If you believe we should be here for nurses, please join us and take action at cavellnursestrust.org/research If you’re a nurse, midwife, HCA or work in healthcare, please take action and help your colleagues at cavellnursestrust.org/ research

Still caring

In spite of all this, nursing professionals are getting on with the vital job of caring for the UK. Nurses give so much to us all. They help bring our children into the world. They care for us when we’re dying. They’re here for us with care and compassion at the darkest and the brightest moments in-between.

About Cavell Nurses’ Trust

Cavell Nurses’ Trust is here for nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants (HCAs) with money and support when they are experiencing personal or financial hardship. We also help people who are retired or have changed profession and help students in exceptional situations. We’re proud to offer a listening ear and practical support to everyone who gets in touch. Cavell Nurses’ Trust was established in 1917 following the execution of British nurse Edith Cavell in WW1. She helped 200 Allied soldiers reach freedom from German-occupied Belgium and Cavell Nurses’ Trust is her living legacy. We’re proud to maintain Edith’s values of compassion, courage and care in the work we do. Put simply, we’re #HereForNurses

“I was devastated; the idea that I wouldn’t walk again and be unable

to return to work was horrible. I couldn’t imagine my life without nursing”

In 2010, nurse Michelle’s life changed forever. Until then, she’d worked with new born babies suffering heart problems and loved every minute of it, but increasing pain in her lower back turned into bad news – two ruptured discs. It soon became clear that Michelle would be a wheelchair user for the rest of her life. Michelle’s determination was strong and after five months in hospital and six months rehabilitation, she was ready to return to work. But costly modifications were needed to her wheelchair so Cavell Nurses’ Trust was able to secure funding to convert her manual wheelchair into an electric one. This help has ensured Michelle’s return to work as a Cardiac Education Nurse.

“The help I’ve received from Cavell Nurses’ Trust has been life changing, I will be forever grateful to them.”

A student job in a nursing home opened Louise’s* eyes to a career caring for others and after qualifying in 2005, she nursed in her local hospital. Now a nurse and mother, Louise found her life took a bad turn as her partner was becoming increasingly abusive towards her – physically, emotionally and financially. She ended up in a women’s refuge with a bag of clothes and a toy for each child. Cavell Nurses’ Trust was quickly able to fund items for Louise’s new home and pay her registration costs, allowing her to return to her beloved nursing career.

“I’ve given so much during my nursing career and I’m so grateful to know that Cavell Nurses’ Trust

are there for me if I need help.”

Could this report be a catalyst for making a change?

The money and support Cavell Nurses’ Trust gives must be made available to more and more people. To do this we need to raise awareness of the cause described in this report. We need to raise awareness of the help available. And we need to raise the funds to make it all happen. Cavell Nurses’ Trust can only do this with your support. So I ask you to consider how you, the people you know and the people you work with, could be here for nurses too.

What is Hypotention ?

Doctors measure blood pressure using two numbers – the first and higher of the two is called the systolic blood pressure, and it occurs when the heart beats and fills the arteries of the body with blood. The lower number is called the diastolic blood pressure, and it’s the pressure in the heart when it rests between heartbeats. A normal blood pressure is said to be in the region of 120/80mmHg (systolic/diastolic) and doctors spend a lot of time dealing with people with high blood pressure. Use a blood pressure chart to see what your blood pressure means.

Low blood pressure (hypotension) on the other hand often requires no treatment but elderly people in particular can find it a problem, especially when standing up from sitting or lying down. In general terms, the medical advice is that the lower the blood pressure the better, and for most people their blood pressure rarely falls below 90/60.

Recognition

However, low blood pressure can sometimes mean there’s not enough blood flowing to your brain and other vital organs, which can lead to symptoms such as:

What to do if you have symptoms

If you think you may be experiencing an episode of low blood pressure, you should:

  • stop what you’re doing
  • sit or lie down
  • drink some water

The symptoms will usually pass after a few seconds or minutes.

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if you have frequent symptoms of low blood pressure. Your GP can measure your blood pressure and help identify any underlying causes of the problem. Read more about diagnosing low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure after suddenly standing up

If you experience symptoms of low pressure after changing positions, such as standing up, it’s known as postural, or orthostatic, hypotension. Symptoms shouldn’t last longer than a few seconds, as your blood pressure will adjust to your new position. This type of low blood pressure tends to affect people more as they get older, when it can lead to more frequent falls. Similar symptoms may also occur after exercise.

Low blood pressure after eating

If you experience symptoms after eating, it’s known as postprandial hypotension. It occurs more often in older people, particularly in those who have high blood pressure or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes mellitus. After a meal, your intestines need a large amount of blood for digestion. If your heart rate doesn’t increase enough to maintain blood pressure, your blood pressure will fall, causing symptoms.

Low blood pressure after standing for long periods

Some people experience symptoms after standing up for long periods of time. This is sometimes known as neutrally mediated hypotension, and most often affects children and young adults.

Read more about the causes of low blood pressure and High blood pressure in the elderly

What is Hypotention ?

Doctors measure blood pressure using two numbers – the first and higher of the two is called the systolic blood pressure, and it occurs when the heart beats and fills the arteries of the body with blood. The lower number is called the diastolic blood pressure, and it’s the pressure in the heart when it rests between heartbeats. A normal blood pressure is said to be in the region of 120/80mmHg (systolic/diastolic) and doctors spend a lot of time dealing with people with high blood pressure. Use a blood pressure chart to see what your blood pressure means.

Low blood pressure (hypotension) on the other hand often requires no treatment but elderly people in particular can find it a problem, especially when standing up from sitting or lying down. In general terms, the medical advice is that the lower the blood pressure the better, and for most people their blood pressure rarely falls below 90/60.

Recognition

However, low blood pressure can sometimes mean there’s not enough blood flowing to your brain and other vital organs, which can lead to symptoms such as:

What to do if you have symptoms

If you think you may be experiencing an episode of low blood pressure, you should:

  • stop what you’re doing
  • sit or lie down
  • drink some water

The symptoms will usually pass after a few seconds or minutes.

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if you have frequent symptoms of low blood pressure. Your GP can measure your blood pressure and help identify any underlying causes of the problem. Read more about diagnosing low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure after suddenly standing up

If you experience symptoms of low pressure after changing positions, such as standing up, it’s known as postural, or orthostatic, hypotension. Symptoms shouldn’t last longer than a few seconds, as your blood pressure will adjust to your new position. This type of low blood pressure tends to affect people more as they get older, when it can lead to more frequent falls. Similar symptoms may also occur after exercise.

Low blood pressure after eating

If you experience symptoms after eating, it’s known as postprandial hypotension. It occurs more often in older people, particularly in those who have high blood pressure or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes mellitus. After a meal, your intestines need a large amount of blood for digestion. If your heart rate doesn’t increase enough to maintain blood pressure, your blood pressure will fall, causing symptoms.

Low blood pressure after standing for long periods

Some people experience symptoms after standing up for long periods of time. This is sometimes known as neutrally mediated hypotension, and most often affects children and young adults.

Read more about the causes of low blood pressure and High blood pressure in the elderly

The brains of SuperAgers (those 80 years old and older whose memories are as sharp as healthy people in their 50s and 60s) shrink much slower than their age-matched peers, resulting in a greater resistance to ‘typical’ memory loss and dementia, a new path-breaking study that shows.

 

This is a MRI scan of a SuperAger’s brain. The portion between the yellow and red lines is the cortex, which contains neurons. SuperAgers’ cortices shrunk over two times slower than average-age peers’ in a recent Northwestern Medicine study, which may contribute to their superior memory performance.

Credit: Northwestern University

The highly engaged and delightful conversationalist, who reads, volunteers and routinely researches questions on the Internet, is part of a new path-breaking Northwestern Medicine study that shows that SuperAgers’ brains shrink much slower than their age-matched peers, resulting in a greater resistance to “typical” memory loss and dementia.

Over the course of the 18-month study, normal agers lost volume in the cortex twice as fast as SuperAgers, a rare group of people aged 80 and above whose memories are as sharp as those of healthy persons decades younger.

“Increasing age is often accompanied by ‘typical’ cognitive decline or, in some cases, more severe cognitive decline called dementia,” said first author Amanda Cook, a clinical neuropsychology doctoral student in the laboratory of Emily Rogalski and Sandra Weintraub. “SuperAgers suggest that age-related cognitive decline is not inevitable.”The study was published in JAMA. Senior author Emily Rogalski will present the findings at the 2017 Cognitive Aging Summit in Bethesda, Maryland, April 6.SuperAger research at Northwestern is flipping the traditional approach to Alzheimer’s research of focusing on brains that are underperforming to instead focusing on outperforming brains.

We have never thought we would be writing about this but facts are facts and we feel it is our responsibility to act and act fast .

Nursing hardship does exist and this must stop !

  • Nurses are nearly twice as likely as the average person to
    be unable to afford basic necessities like beds, washing machines and keeping their homes warm
  • Two in five nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants have
    a long-term physical or mental illness that limits their day-to-day activity
  • Nurses are 3 times more likely to have experienced domestic
    abuse in the last year

This is appalling, and we all need to take urgent action

Unfortunately, many people seem to think that the most important people in the healthcare system are the doctors, but this is simply not true. Ever the underdog, nurses play a key role in all of our medical institutions, being responsible for the welfare, safety and recovery of patients. Nurses have an enormous amount of knowledge and many diverse skills they spend years perfecting and developing, all the time working in decidedly tough environments where extreme stress is just a part of the job. Nurses help bring new life into the world, care tirelessly for the sick and injured, and sometimes watch the patients they did everything to save pass away despite their best efforts.

We are very proud to collaborate with Cavell Nurses Trust in this fundraising campaign to raise both money but most importantly urgency and awareness to tackling this national issue.  Cavell Nurses’ Trust is a very active charity that provides help and financial support to UK nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who are suffering hardship. Together with supporters like you, we can make a difference.

How we can help :

£1000 to help a nurse fleeing domestic violence establish a new home after leaving everything behind

£500 to pay the deposit for a rental flat for a homeless nurse in crisis

£500 to help a nurse who has had to suddenly leave their job to become a full-time carer for a loved one

£300 to help a nurse facing working-age poverty with vital home repairs they cannot afford
£100 to help a nurse with mental health problems stay in their own home

Feel inspired to help? We’re looking for people like you to take action

To support and raise money for Nurses in need , kindly click here

 Nurses .. they make a difference in our lives every day !

 Time to give them something back – they are worth it  !

 We Count On Your Support & Kind Generosity

 🙂

 

Nursing is Career … Not just a Job

You’re ready for a new job opportunity. Started job search and managed to book yourself an Interview , all is good and as planned, by this point, you need to do your home work to be ready to sell yourself and the best way in doing so is to have a close look at your potential employer’s website.This will help you grow your confidence level and show your future employer you care and want the Job more than the other candidates.

Did you know that you have a chance of asking HR questions before accepting a job offer as a nurse? The widespread shortage of nurses in many places gives you room to be a job seeker with a choice on who to work for. Don’t be timid. Ask questions about what you consider important to you and how you carry out your job. Worth considering the following questions before giving a definite answer :

  1. About salary and allowances

Ask about your starting salary and compare this with what is offered in your area for similar roles .  Inquire about allowances in relation to relocation, overtime and any other special nursing care related duties. Many healthcare agencies fail to guarantee secured working hours for their nurses. A great way to find out is to just ask and check your future employer’s reviews, testimonials and social media accounts.

  1. Job related benefits

What does the company offer for your personal healthcare? This relates to matters such as insurance, paid vacation/leave and maternity leave for women.

  1. Interpersonal relationships

Strive to know the relationship between the administration and the workers.  How easy can you have issues resolved between you and a fellow member of staff or between you and the administration? Does the company have a mentorship program?

  1. Education and Training opportunities

Does the company have a continuing education program that will improve your CV and Overall Career Development ? Opportunities to get certifications in certain areas can help in your professional progression. Many healthcare agencies do offer mandatory training , offer courses and development days to help nurses improve their practice and support their continuing professional development (CPD). It is a great chance to ask your future employer if training is included in your employment contract.

  1. Will your personal special circumstances be considered in your new job role?

This can relate to physical or social-family issues. A pregnant or nursing mother for example may find it challenging to work in certain areas. Such mothers may need a department with more flexibility where it may be possible to take a break or reduce working hours (part time ) when circumstances demand. In addition to talking to the HR officer, talk to nurses and other staff who are already working with the company. You will learn from them some things that HR may not be willing to tell you. All these will help you to decide whether take the job opportunity or not.

If you make it a priority to ask these important questions before you accept a nursing job offer, you’ll be much happier with your decision—whether you accept or decline it. It might seem like a good idea to at first take what you can get, but what you want at the end of the day is to love your job and the best way to achieve this is to do your homework beforehand.

Small things like that can be helpful conversation topics during an interview and, ultimately, they can make all the difference in securing the position. Secure Healthcare Solutions is a specialist in establishment healthcare staffing solutions across England. We are actively recruiting and supplying front line staff in Birmingham and the West Midlands,Northampton, Milton Keynes, London, Manchester and Bristol areas.

 

Nursing is Career … Not just a Job

You’re ready for a new job opportunity. Started job search and managed to book yourself an Interview , all is good and as planned, by this point, you need to do your home work to be ready to sell yourself and the best way in doing so is to have a close look at your potential employer’s website.This will help you grow your confidence level and show your future employer you care and want the Job more than the other candidates.

Did you know that you have a chance of asking HR questions before accepting a job offer as a nurse? The widespread shortage of nurses in many places gives you room to be a job seeker with a choice on who to work for. Don’t be timid. Ask questions about what you consider important to you and how you carry out your job. Worth considering the following questions before giving a definite answer :

  1. About salary and allowances

Ask about your starting salary and compare this with what is offered in your area for similar roles .  Inquire about allowances in relation to relocation, overtime and any other special nursing care related duties. Many healthcare agencies fail to guarantee secured working hours for their nurses. A great way to find out is to just ask and check your future employer’s reviews, testimonials and social media accounts.

  1. Job related benefits

What does the company offer for your personal healthcare? This relates to matters such as insurance, paid vacation/leave and maternity leave for women.

  1. Interpersonal relationships

Strive to know the relationship between the administration and the workers.  How easy can you have issues resolved between you and a fellow member of staff or between you and the administration? Does the company have a mentorship program?

  1. Education and Training opportunities

Does the company have a continuing education program that will improve your CV and Overall Career Development ? Opportunities to get certifications in certain areas can help in your professional progression. Many healthcare agencies do offer mandatory training , offer courses and development days to help nurses improve their practice and support their continuing professional development (CPD). It is a great chance to ask your future employer if training is included in your employment contract.

  1. Will your personal special circumstances be considered in your new job role?

This can relate to physical or social-family issues. A pregnant or nursing mother for example may find it challenging to work in certain areas. Such mothers may need a department with more flexibility where it may be possible to take a break or reduce working hours (part time ) when circumstances demand. In addition to talking to the HR officer, talk to nurses and other staff who are already working with the company. You will learn from them some things that HR may not be willing to tell you. All these will help you to decide whether take the job opportunity or not.

If you make it a priority to ask these important questions before you accept a nursing job offer, you’ll be much happier with your decision—whether you accept or decline it. It might seem like a good idea to at first take what you can get, but what you want at the end of the day is to love your job and the best way to achieve this is to do your homework beforehand.

Small things like that can be helpful conversation topics during an interview and, ultimately, they can make all the difference in securing the position. Secure Healthcare Solutions is a specialist in establishment healthcare staffing solutions across England. We are actively recruiting and supplying front line staff in Birmingham and the West Midlands,Northampton, Milton Keynes, London, Manchester and Bristol areas.

 

What are the qualities of a good nurse? The nursing profession is unlike any other in the medical field. Why? A nurse is almost always the medical profession who spends the most time on a one on one basis with the patient. In some cases, a nurse will continue with home visits long after the patient has been discharged from the hospital. For these and many other reasons, a person considering to train as a nurse should do a self-assessment check and determine whether she has what it takes to be a great nurse. Considering the following is a good place to start.

Compassion Toward Others

The ability to ‘feel’ another person’s pain is not a gift that everyone possesses. A good nurse must go being sympathetic to a patient. There must be empathy; fellow-feeling. Doing this for patient after patient and day after day needs determination and a motivation that exceeds the need for mere survival through earning a salary as a nurse.

A Great Team – Player

There are many other people involved in patient care. A great nurse must be ready to maintain harmony in the team. The result of a cohesive team is superior patient care and better outcome.

A Great Nurse is a Permanent Learner

The medical field is a dynamic one. A nurse must continue learning the new trends in nursing care and also have an idea of other advances in medicine. This will not only help her remain at the top of things but will also make her a source of information and inspiration to others.

Level – Headedness

More often than not a nurse is under extreme pressure. Such situations call for decisive action. A great nurse is the one who handles such events with calmness. Panic is the worst thing in an emergency.

The qualities of a great nurse boil down to a caring, compassionate and calm person who can work under pressure without panicking. A great nurse is a source of strength and hope to the sick and a mentor to those following her steps in the profession.

Call on 0121 285 9449 today if you do wish to speak to an adviser – We certainly can help you be a great nurse .

 

 As a nurse, you’ll need to go through appraisals, reflective discussions, and confirmation not just to satisfy licensing requirements but to also improve your performance as a health professional. Read on to learn more about these essential processes.

What are appraisals?

Appraisals are an important part of your work life as a nurse. Whether you like it or not, you’ll need to go through these processes to measure your development in the past year, identify the areas where you need improvement, and create personal development for the next 12 months. With the introduction of revalidation in April 2016, appraisals have become even more important since they help nurses prepare for their revalidation and registration renewal.

If you’re an agency nurse, you’re not required to get an appraisal every year. But, just like any other nurse, you do need to undergo reflective discussion and confirmation a few months or weeks before your revalidation date. With this in mind, it makes sense to schedule these processes during your annual appraisal to hit several birds with one stone. Take note, though: your reflective discussion and confirmation should be done within 12 months before your revalidation date. Any sooner than that may raise questions about the relevancy of your revalidation requirements.

What are reflective discussions?

You need to complete at least five reflective pieces as a part of the revalidation process. These pieces should be written within the three years that lead up to your revalidation date.

Your written accounts can be based on your general practice, feedback from your patients or colleagues, and the courses you take for your CPD. You can also relate them to articles that you have read or events that you have attended — as long as these articles or events are relevant to your practice and reflect the four themes of the Code. By writing these accounts, you’ll find it easier to adopt reflective practices and identify the improvements that you can make to your practice.

Once you have completed at least five written accounts, you can undergo the process of reflective discussion. This should be a face-to-face conversation with another healthcare professional who is registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). During this process, you will discuss your written reflections in detail.

When choosing a partner for reflective discussion, you’re not required to select someone who has the same specialism as you and who works with you on a daily basis. However, you are required to fill out the reflective discussion form and obtain your partner’s signature. Doing this will serve as evidence that you’re not professionally isolated and that you interact with others in the healthcare field.

What is the confirmation process?

Before you submit your revalidation application, you’ll need to have a confirmation meeting, which allows you to review the evidence that you have gathered over the past three years. Your confirmation meeting should be with your line manager who may or may not be registered with the NMC. If this isn’t possible, you can have the meeting with a doctor, pharmacist, or any other UK-registered healthcare professional whom you work with.

During your confirmation meeting, make sure to proactively interact with your Confirmer and discuss all the details of your CPD, reflective accounts, and other items in your portfolio. You need to show that you’re dedicated to your practice and have taken accountability for your growth and improvement. You also must demonstrate that you can adapt to changes in the clinical setting.

Of course, don’t forget to complete the NCM appraisal/confirmation form and get the signature of your line manager/Confirmer once your meeting is done. Getting two copies of the form is recommended so you can keep one copy for yourself and include the other in your revalidation application.