Teaching strategies for atypical presentation of illness in older adults

J Gerontol Nurs. 2010 Jul;36(7):38-43. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20100601-01. Epub 2010 Jul 8.

Abstract

Atypical presentation of illness is a phenomenon where "seeing is believing." Expert geriatric nurses and clinicians know all too well the early signs and symptoms of this phenomenon, which frequently masquerades bacterial infections, pain, acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, or other serious medical ailments in older adults. Students, however, as novices to clinical practice, require interactive learning approaches to reflect on the patient's illness presentations, help with developing the necessary skills to analyze and synthesize clinically relevant data, and witness resolution of an atypical presentation when found and treated. Use of a case study as an educational tool can facilitate critical thinking about a clinical problem, such as atypical presentation of illness, for students within a problem-based learning format. Furthermore, we highlight strategies for teaching students atypical presentation of illness with consideration of student learning preferences, which include visual, auditory, reading, and kinesthetic modes of learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Geriatric Nursing / education*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Diagnosis*
  • Teaching / methods*
  • United States