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Communication And Respect for people with Dementia: Student learning (CARDS)

Social work students

CARDS is an innovative educational programme for pre-qualifying health and social care students.  It is aimed at improving the education and training of health and social care students to work effectively with people with dementia, through theoretical components and an opportunity to interact with people with dementia in a care home. CARDS has received a Recognition Award for Excellence and Innovation in Healthcare Education and Training from South London Membership Council.

Aims of CARDS project

  • Better prepare health and social care students to work with people with dementia
  • Increase knowledge on dementia
  • Increase confidence in working with people with dementia
  • Develop links with care homes
  • Students gain insight into care home life and environment, different to NHS.

In this pilot, the Introductory Programme was delivered to 55 second year Physiotherapy students and 22 second and third year Learning Disability Nursing students.  A total of 13 students participated in the Care Home Experience.

Findings from the knowledge questionnaire showed that there was a statistically significant improvement in knowledge scores after completing the CARDS introductory programme. Completing the CARDS care home experience significantly improved scores on the confidence and perceived competence questionnaire. Students also reported that both the introductory programme and the care home experience would be useful to their future practice as health and social care professionals.