Launching the South West Healthcare aged persons’ mental health service online training program into delirium yesterday are (from left) Robyn Bamberg, Jodie Bateman, Russell Porter, Janet Punch and Tracey Gould.SOUTH West Healthcare’s (SWH) aged persons’ mental health service launched an online training program on delirium at South West TAFE yesterday.
Nanjing Night Net

A Western Education and Training Cluster grant was awarded to the Warrnambool provider about 15 months ago to establish a staff development initiative.

The E-learning program is designed to help health professionals in western Victoria better identify people who have developed a mental state of confusion after contracting a physical illness or disorder.

SWH aged persons’ mental health service manager of 14 years, Russell Porter, said the program would benefit clinicians, triage staff and people working in acute health and residential aged care.

“We’re happy to share it with all groups in the Western cluster,” he said.

Mr Porter said common causes of delirium included infection, substance interaction and surgery and it could be contracted at any age but was most often seen in people over 65.

“It is common amongst the elderly everywhere,” he said.

“But it is under-recognised, therefore it is under-treated.

“What many people don’t know is it’s not a psychiatric disorder, it’s actually physical.

“It needs to be dealt with in hospital.”

Delirium can lead to increased hospital stays and fatalities if it is misdiagnosed, which is a burden on health services, Mr Porter said.

Symptoms can include disorientation, hallucinations, sleepiness, inattentiveness and short-term memory loss.

The program will be part of the South West Alliance of Rural Health’s online learning environment.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.