Reframing dementia: Nursing students' relational learning with rather than about people with dementia. A constructivist grounded theory study
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Objectives: Developing an informed and effective workforce that provides effective and ethical care to people with dementia and their families is an international priority. Here we explore the impact of a novel approach on students of adult nursing. It involved engagement with people with dementia and their carers over 3 years in the Time for Dementia Programme. This research explored students' perceptions of their professional learning and practice. Methods: A longitudinal, constructivist grounded theory approach in three phases (3 years) was used. In‐depth interviews were conducted with 12 students of adult nursing following visits with older adults with dementia and their carers in their own homes at 12 months, 24 months and at 36 months. A constant comparative analysis of transcribed interviews was completed. Results: A new theory of Whole Sight was identified as representing the impact of the learning that occurred as a consequence of relational learning visits. The core category of New Ways of Seeing dementia represented a broadening of students' views of dementia that encompassed the person's lives and relationships. This led to a person‐centred shift in students' practice. The data suggest that Time for Dementia can help students to be active in their contribution to care and serve as change agents in transforming dementia care. Conclusions: The theory of Whole Sight that emerged is a novel and useful contribution to the evidence on community‐based educational initiatives. Visiting people with dementia and their carers at home in training can help develop a workforce that meets their needs.
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