Confused? Improving Outcomes in Patients With Altered Mental Status and Delirium
Section: Academy of Acute Care PT
Co-Section: Academy of Neurologic PT
Session Code: AC-2C-7060
Date: Friday, January 25, 2019
Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Room: 144B

Speaker(s):   Gina Dubuisson, PT
  Allison M. Lieberman, PT, MSPT

Session Type: Educational Sessions
Session Level: Basic

Alterations in mental status is a common reason for admission to the hospital. A patient's change in mental status may be a sign of an acute or chronic disease state. Due to the impaired awareness and cognition that often occurs with these conditions, the cause of patient confusion may be misdiagnosed, leading to increased hospital length of stay and readmission. Statistics show that these patients are also at increased risk for falls and often have higher mortality rates. Acute care physical therapists are frequently relied upon to make determinations on mobility and recommendations for appropriate discharge disposition. In order to make the most appropriate recommendations, physical therapists must first be able to understand the sequelae of confusion. This session will review how to differentiate between acute and chronic conditions that may lead to changes in mental status. The speakers will discuss the signs and symptoms of the most common causes of altered mental status, such as delirium, dementia, and depression. Attendees will learn about common pharmacological and metabolic causes of altered mental status and confusion. Special focus will be placed on evidence-based approaches for managing and reducing delirium in patients located in the critical care environment. The presenters will describe the acute care physical therapist's role in discharge planning for this patient population and role in providing education to patients and caregivers.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

1. Identify the implications that altered mental status has on patient outcomes in the acute care setting.

2. Differentiate between acute and chronic causes for altered mental status in the hospital setting and identify common pharmacological and metabolic causes.

3. Describe the Acute Care Physical Therapist's role in improving outcomes in this patient population through evidence-based assessment and treatment approaches, with special focus on the critical care environment.

4. Describe the Acute Care Physical Therapist's role in discharge planning for this patient population and role in providing patient and caregiver education.

CEU: 0.2

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