Browsing by Subject "ravitsemusosaaminen"

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  • Toivola, Laura-Elina (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Malnutrition is common among old people, particularly in the institutionalized elderly. Good nutritional status and ability to function could be maintaided by nutrition treatment that meets the requirements of the elderly. Nursing staff has an important role in nutrition treatment, but studies suggest that nutritional skills of nurses are not adequate, even though attitudes to nutrition treatment are often positive. The aim of the study was to examine the factors that may determine nurses’ nutrition treatment in Finnish elderly care and clear up what kind of attitudes and knowlegde may affect the nutrition treatment. 14 practical nurses (or equivalent) were inteviewed individually in an elderly service centre. Material was analyzed with content analysis. Four main themes were made up of the analysis. The themes were 1) formation of nutritional skills and skills assessment, 2) nutritional knwledge and attitudes, 3) environment of nutrition treatment and 4) nutrition treatment in practice. The nutritional skills of the nurses were of very varied backgrounds. Education, nutritional training in the service centre, nutritional atmosphere in the centre, working experience and personal life were highlighted varyingly. The nurses had wide knowledge of nutrition and its significance, but the views were not equal. Nutrition treatment was considered important and the nurses thought it was their responsibility, but alongside good nutritional status there were other rival values. Aged residents were the basis for the nutrition treatment. In addition, food services in the centre, multiprofessional co-operation and working atmosphere among the nurses were parts of the environment of the nutrition treatment. On one hand, food service practices eased the work of the nurses but on the other hand they decreased the feeling of the possibility to affect the work. Prerequisites for getting support in work were good but the roles among the professionals were partly unclear. Attitudes were varying among the nurses and bad working atmosphere might complicate the nutrition treatment. The nurses had a variety of methods to assess and maintain the nutritional status of the residents but there were lots of individual differences in the practices. In addition, for example lack of appetite and memory disorders were considered challenging when it came to nutrition treatment, and nurses’ problem-solving skills were not adequate in all of these cases. The results point out that nurses’ nutritional knowledge and skills don’t necessarily guarantee successful nutrition treatment. There is also a group of values and attitudes that may determine nutrition treatment. Besides it is important to be aware of where the knowledge, skills and attitudes come from and improve them through channels that are common to all nurses. Context of the treatment should be considered aswell. Without clear and logical practices, good working atmosphere and sufficient support in work it is difficult to utilize the potential that nurses have. More research is needed to develop nutrition treatment that meets the requirements of the elderly even better.