A Core Curriculum for Nursing Home Care

nursing_care_3d_coverJohn Morley, Professor of Geriatrics and Endocrinology at the St Louis University, Missouri, describes the work of the Taskkforce convened by the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) and the World Health Organisation, to develop a core curriculum for nursing home care.

The International Association for Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) has developed a core curriculum for nursing home care. The concept for a need for such a curriculum arose out of an International Nursing Home Taskforce that met in Toulouse, France in 2010. The taskforce was convened jointly by IAGG and the World Health Organisation as they recognised there was variation in standards and approaches to nursing home care around the world coupled with a desire to promote evidence-based improvements in care. The consensus paper was published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association in 2011. Among the recommendations was that the IAGG would develop international certification courses for health professionals in nursing (care) homes. The course was piloted in Hong Kong and Chengdu, China as well as a minicourse being held in New Delhi, India. The popularity of these courses, further discussions and an international survey results in the recognition of the need for a uniform curriculum based on best practices in Europe and the United States.

The curriculum is a rich evidence-based resource to provide healthcare professionals with the information and knowledge to advance nursing home care. It states and explains the principles underpinning safe, personalised, and dignified nursing home practice using an integrated, cooperative approach. In addition, it provides the medical knowledge necessary to give quality care to nursing home residents.

Nursing Home Care reflects the International Association for Geriatrics and Gerontology’s conviction that nursing home practice is an interprofessional (multi-disciplinary) endeavour that requires a sound theoretical, scientific, and values base in addition to clinical expertise. Mindful of the influences of different culture and context, the premise of this text is that there is a shared and common knowledge base to guide nursing home practice and approaches to caring that are universal.

The curriculum is divided into 4 parts:
PART 1 covers the origins of the nursing home movement, plus alternative approaches, including aging in place and what older people are saying about nursing home life and culture change.

PART 2 focuses on the fundamentals of working as part of a nursing home team providing day-to-day care and the leadership essentials to drive the quality improvement agenda.

PART 3 addresses the most common conditions experienced by older nursing home residents and state of the art treatment approaches.

PART 4 is devoted to medical and nursing aspects of specific disease management.

The curriculum employs the use of figures and tables to make it easy for the learner to quickly grasp the essential facts.

Special features include:

  • Over 1,000 PowerPoint slides available for instructors
  • Over 150 multiple choice questions
  • Key points for each chapter
  • An essential study guide for the IAGG certificate in nursing home care.

The course was compiled by two European authors (Debbie Tolson, PhD, FRCH, the Alzheimer Scotland Professor of Dementia at the University of West Scotland, and Bruno Vellas from Toulouse, France, who is the immediate past president of IAGG), as well as two American authors (Joseph Ouslander, Professor in the Colleges of Medicine and Nursing at Florida Atlantic University and a past president of the American Geriatrics Society, and John Morley from Saint Louis University, who is the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA) and also one of the editors of Pathy’s Geriatric Medicine). In addition, the primary authors had multiple input from professionals around the world.

The introduction to the curriculum is written by John Beard, the Director of the Department of Aging and Life Courses at the World Health Organisation. He points out that the curriculum is a “clear step on the path to the innovative future” of long term care and alternative models allowing the older person to age in place.

Overall, the curriculum shares experiences of multiple aspects of care from many countries to help improve the quality of nursing (care) home care. It is the first step in creating a community of health and social care professionals, practice leaders, and managers to improve the care of older persons.

The IAGG offers a certification of nursing home competence based on the curriculum (www.garn-network.org).

For further information and access to the slide kit go to www.iaggnursinghomecare.com. The curriculum entitled, “Nursing Home Care – A Core Curriclum from the International Association for Gerontology and Geriatrics” is available online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble with a Kindle version.