Caring for the autistic child: a resource manual for health care providers

Rudolph, Sherrilee P. (2016) Caring for the autistic child: a resource manual for health care providers. Practicum Report. Memorial University of Newfoundland. (Unpublished)

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Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

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Background: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects approximately 1 in 68 children (CDC, 2014). Comorbid medical conditions and psychiatric disorders increase the likelihood that these children will require acute care services more often than their neurotypical peers (McDermott, Zhou, & Mann, 2008; Simonoff et al., 2008). The evidence suggests that most health care providers are unprepared for the complexity of the interactions with these children during an acute care episode (McGongile, Migyanka, et al., 2014; McGongile, Venkat, et al., 2014; Muskat et al., 2015). Currently, there are no formalized training programs for acute health care workers in Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR). Purpose: The purpose of this practicum project was to use the best available evidence on the care needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and effective interaction strategies to guide development of a resource manual for acute care health workers, especially registered nurses (RNs), working in the RQHR. Methods: Initial steps involved planning for and conducting a needs assessment. The resulting database emerged from a critical review of relevant literature, an environmental scan of resources within RQHR, and informal consultations with parents and caregivers of children with ASD, acute care nurses and nurse managers and experts in the field of ASD. Following analysis and collation of all data into major themes, a draft blueprint guided development of a resource manual for health care providers interacting with and providing care to children with ASD. Results: The needs assessment data informed development of an educational resource manual appropriate for all health care providers who encounter children with ASD and their parents and/or caregivers within acute care environments. The Caring for the Autistic Child: A Guide for Health Care Providers in Acute Care provides insightful information on the disorder and associated comorbid conditions, as well as effective approaches to care delivery with this priority population. Implementation and evaluation plans will guide distribution of the resource manual within the RQHR. Conclusion: The sequential and interdependent steps taken in this practicum project led to the development of a resource manual comprised of simple, easy to implement strategies capable of assisting nurses and all healthcare providers in providing care tailored to the autistic child’s unique needs and challenges.

Item Type: Report (Practicum Report)
Item ID: 12100
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references. -- Final report of the Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum -- Practicum report submitted to the School of Nursing in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Nursing.
Department(s): Nursing, Faculty of
Date: May 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Autistic children--Medical care; Autism spectrum disorders in children--Nursing; Intensive care nursing--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Medical Subject Heading: Autism Spectrum Disorder; Child; Child, Preschool; Infant; Adolescent; Critical Care Nursing--Handbooks

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