Caregiving and dementia/Projects/Improving the understanding of dementia in overseas qualified nurses

This page describes a Dementia Training Study Centre project.
Improving the understanding of dementia in overseas qualified nurses



This project identified the three largest groups of Overseas Qualified Nurses (OQN) working in aged care in NSW and the ACT and developed materials to improve their awareness of the cultural issues that they need to take into account in their care of people with dementia.

The overall aim of this project was the adoption into the OQN’s clinical practice of the Australian view on dementia. This was achieved by meeting the objective of developing and disseminating a resource that provides an educator with the materials required to assist the OQN to understand and accept the similarities and differences between the view of a person with dementia that is common in their country of origin and the view taken in best practice care in Australia.

The number of health care workers from CALD backgrounds in Australia is increasing, reflecting trends in the global movement of health care workforce. Twenty seven percent of nurses were born overseas, with recent arrivals more than likely to be trained overseas. These OQNs may have views on dementia and people with dementia that are not helpful in the Australian context. The obstacles to them providing high quality care have been well described in a UNSW DCRC report, Strategic Directions in CALD Dementia Research in Australia which identifies the need for culturally specific education. The great range of views on dementia of people from other cultures has been very well illustrated by the Alzheimers Association in their Perceptions of Dementia in Ethnic Communities resources which provides a good foundation for discussing the similarities and differences that exist with the Australian view.

These documents support the conclusion that there is a strong need to provide OQNs with an opportunity to explore the differences between their views on the nature of dementia and the care of people with dementia so that the care they provide is consistent with Australian best practice.

More information

  1. TBA