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Diagnostics: Cognitive Disorders

Introduction

This paper was about a very interesting article published in the spring of 2004 at the British Journal of Nursing by two prominent authors, Thomas Aird and Michelle McIntosh. Thomas is a lecturer at the Faculty of Nursing of the London South Bank University and Michelle is a senior staff nurse at the Acute Brain Injury Unit of the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.

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The main topic of the paper relates to the problems arising among nursing staff when trying to diagnose and treat patients with cognitive disorders. The authors argue that today nurses tend to focus more on the physical aspects of a patient. A crucial problem is that clinicians do not assess properly cognitive deficits and they fail to understand the importance of such status which influences the physical and daily life activities of patients at all levels.

Summary of the article

The authors begin their paper study by assessing the importance of the problem. Cognitive deficits are mostly misunderstood or eat least not fully understood today by practicing nurses. Many times they fail to correctly diagnose their patients and, as a result, fail to give them proper care. They also point out that some of those nurses who may understand the issue, still do not evaluate it as important. This is what makes this article important for every nurse to read.

There is a broad agreement among scholars that sexuality is one of the key elements in defining human identity both on a personal and communal level. Some go as far as to make it one of the key factors determining the meaning of life itself (Aird and McIntosh, 2004). But there is a strong correlation in our culture between the sexual feelings, sexual life of an individual, and physical body shape.

Here is where the authors of the article raise their research question. They want to explore and analyze why “attitudes toward sexuality and sexual behavior have generated devaluing reactions from society regarding older adults” (Aird and McIntosh, 2004).

They go on to describe the strong paradigm that sexuality is something related to youth and most of the time is neglected or misunderstood by older adults. The authors here see a potential rising problem for society in general and the nurse community in particular. Since the portion of the adult population is increasing rapidly over the younger generation and their chronic health problems are doing the same, nurses will find themselves in a very difficult position shortly. Only those who have an educational background or training in gerontology or sexuality will be more able to consult older adults about these issues.

The rest of the nurses, given the current educational apparatus and what it transmits them, will find themselves in a difficult position.

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The authors give practical examples of the problems in the current education of nurses and the lack of training they receive in this area. After this assessment, they continue to provide their solution to this problem. The implementation of such policies will ensure the recognition of the problem, the older adult sexuality behavioral disorders, and will also facilitate the recognition of the rights for this portion of society. All of this aims at enhancing the quality of life for these individuals and preventing social tensions. By doing so, the authors argue that these research and implementation policy efforts will have a direct impact on social justice.

Evaluation of the article

The authors of the article have posed a very interesting research question and very well presented their rationale and argumentation for the case. They have tried to tackle an issue that is not in focus in the nursing profession at the moment. This gives them credit along with the professionalism they have presented and argued their case. Nevertheless, there are certain points in the article that seem to be forced. It is quite strange that the authors do argue very well the lack of preparation and training for nurses coming out of school about this issue, but instead of offering a solution related to education, they propose an increase in efforts in research and policy development in medical institutions. The main question that arises is how can nurses that have not been educated or trained adequately about such a problem be able to design a policy that will tackle the problem. Furthermore, if the bulk of the nurses is not trained or educated about older adult sexual problems, how can a researcher base his / her policy implementation on them. Would it not be better if the nurses were the first to properly understand the issue the policy is addressing before they reach out to patients.

Conclusion

This paper was about a very interesting article published in the spring of 2004 at the British Journal of Nursing by two prominent authors, Thomas Aird and Michelle McIntosh. Thomas is a lecturer at the Faculty of Nursing of the London South Bank University and Michelle is a senior staff nurse at the Acute Brain Injury Unit of the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.

The article relates to the problems and confusion arising among nursing staff when trying to diagnose and treat patients with cognitive disorders. The authors argue that today nurses tend to focus more on the physical aspects of a patient. A crucial problem is that clinicians do not assess properly cognitive deficits and they fail to understand the importance of such status which influences the physical and daily life activities of patients at all levels.

References

Aird, Th. and McIntosh, M. (2000) “Nursing tools and strategies to assess cognition and confusion”, British Journal of Nursing, vol. 19, no. 10.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 30). Diagnostics: Cognitive Disorders. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/diagnostics-cognitive-disorders/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 30). Diagnostics: Cognitive Disorders. https://studycorgi.com/diagnostics-cognitive-disorders/

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Diagnostics: Cognitive Disorders." March 30, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/diagnostics-cognitive-disorders/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Diagnostics: Cognitive Disorders'. 30 March.

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