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Vidyya, from the Sanskrit "vaidya," a practitioner who has come to understand the science of life.

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Geriatric Symptom Assessment And Management

This week's Vidyya Product Watch takes a look at a series of videos and workbooks that enable the busy practitioner to take presenting geriatric symptoms and quickly hone in on the disease process and diagnosis.

Unlike the traditional physical assessment approach, which teaches the practitioner how to do a complete history and physical examination, this series is designed to help the practitioner conduct a more realistic episodic physical exam based on presenting signs or symptoms. These modules help practitioners incorporate their knowledge of the aging process with the skills of physical assessment into a personal "symptom management system." With larger numbers of people moving into the geriatric category, practitioners of every ilk will need to know more about geriatric assessment.

Geriatric Symptom and Management guides the user in performing a thorough and complete assessment. The practitioner who follows the videos and workbooks will feel better about the quality outcomes of their care. This series can create an understanding of the differentiation between normal aging versus signs and symptoms that are indicative of a disease process and help the practitioner start any procedures promptly.

Other features that are important to the geriatric health professional include:

  • A look at what behavioral cues are indicative of symptoms and illness and how to assess those cues quickly and corrrectly.

  • A review of tactics to use to determine if a patient's presentation of a symptom or sign requires an emergent, urgent, or nonurgent response to maintain efficiency.

  • Details on how to collect data from communication with impaired older adults to facilitate symptom assessment.

  • The nuts and bolts of common and atypical presentations in the older adult and their significance to pathophysiology of both common an uncommon conditions.

  • Help with strategies for commonly presented symptoms in the elderly and their proper symptom management.

  • Specific techniques to improve the effectiveness of patient/provider communication.

  • A step by step demonstration of clinical decision making practices to prioritize the patients' concerns and symptoms.

In a busy world, videos and workbooks are excellent tools to keep up with or add to a professional-level knowledge base. Any tool that enables self-directed training to adapt to the user's needs is a useful and powerful one.

For the professional who plans in-service presentations, a module like Geriatric Symptom Assessment And Management can provide an up-to-date, in-house resource for cost-effective training. This set includes continuing education credit (up to 4 contact hours available) at no additional cost. Post tests are provided. The set is a wonderful addition to the educational library of long-term health facilities, colleges of nursing, or for a general hospital staff, since the majority of patients in hospitals are over the age of 65.

The Geriatric Symptom Assessment And Management series of videos and workbooks are available from Vidyya's sponsor, Vidyya. or from its publisher, Mosby, Inc.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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