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The Practice Nurse Guide to Cognitive Screening

Learn the correct screening technique, the most appropriate screening tools and how to sensitively communicate with your patients.
Date: Wednesday 21 October 2020, 12:30pm – 1:30pm AEDT
Duration: 60mins


Cognition is a combination of processes in the brain that involve almost every aspect of life. It includes thinking, memory, language, judgment, and the ability to learn new things. It can be confronting for nurses when they notice a sudden or gradual decline in cognition in one of your patients but at the same time, they know it requires action.

During this one hour webinar we will be joined by an experienced panel to discuss how nurses can make best use of cognitive screening tools

The panel includes Dr Lynn Ridgway a Clinical Neuropsychologist, Cate Doyle, Coordinator of a Memory Assessment Programme and Dr Jenni Parsons a General Practitioner.

Learn by following a practical case study as the panellists provide participants with practical tips to improve your skills in cognitive screening and sensitively communicating with your patients. Some of the more common screening tools will be discussed along with the clues that differentiate between people with delirium, depression or dementia.

Practical Information

  • What screening and assessment tools to use and what other tests to consider.
  • Approaches to having sensitive conversations when you suspect a patient is showing signs of cognitive decline and communicating the results of the screen.
  • How to ensure the accuracy of screening.
  • Ethical considerations when considering screening.

What you will learn

  • The role of cognitive screening and assessment in your patient’s diagnosis.
  • Skills to improve your cognitive screening and ensure your results are reliable.
  • Strategies to communicate with your patients around cognitive decline and cognitive screening.
  • Ethical considerations around cognitive screening.

Course Instructors

Cheryl Constance
Cheryl Constance Clinical Nurse Educator

Cheryl is a Registered Nurse with clinical and management experience across acute care, primary and aged care. With a passion for quality in health care and staff development, Cheryl has been actively involved in the design of high quality clinical education with a focus on areas of identified need.

Dr Lynne Ridgway
Dr Lynne Ridgway Clinical Neuropsychologist

Lynne is a Clinical Neuropsychologist with over 18 years’ clinical and leadership experience in disability, mental health, and brain injury services. She recently spent three years as Director of Specialist Mental Health Services in the beautiful Torres Strait Islands. Her PhD included a fascinating thesis on Hypoxia: The neurocognitive effects of prolonged and repeated apnoea in elite freedivers. Lynne’s specific interests include working with adults with neurodegenerative disorders, severe traumatic brain injury, disability, and functional neurological disorders. In addition, she is following new technology advances in artificial intelligence and virtual reality as tools for understanding of, and rehabilitation for people with neurocognitive disorders.

Cate Doyle
Cate Doyle Memory Assessment Program Coordinator

Cate is a Registered Nurse who has been working in this field for 15 years. Cate is currently the Coordinator for a Memory Assessment Program in the New England Region of NSW. This was initially through the Division of General Practice, then the New England Medicare Local and for the last 5 years, with HealthWISE. Cate has always been passionate about dementia care and feels it is a privilege to work with clients who so generously share very personal information.

Dr Jenni Parsons
Dr Jenni Parsons General Practitioner

Jenni is an experienced GP who has worked in rural areas of Victoria and also as a locum GP in remote parts of Australia over the last decade. She worked for 10 years as the medical editor of Australian Family Physician (now Australian Journal of General Practice) and has over 20 years experience in Medical Education including teaching and supervising medical students and GP registrars, curriculum development with MCCC GP education and peer education. She has interests in mental health and in clinician health and wellbeing.

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Course Information

Estimated Time: 60 mins

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  • Course Classroom

    • Welcome
      • Webinar Instructions
      • Pre Work Activities
      • Resources
    • Completion
      • Evaluation Quiz