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Gastroenteritis in aged care

CPD Hours



Aged care
Infectious diseases
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Gastroenteritis can have a devastating effect on the elderly and may lead to death. In facilities where a large number of elderly people live in close proximity, the effects of a gastroenteritis outbreak have the potential to cause harm or death to a significant number of people. The effects of such outbreaks are felt by all those involved, including family and nursing staff.

There is an increasing number of infections that have been associated with aged care facilities. Of these, gastroenteritis is among the most common epidemic infections. All those involved in nursing care should be alert, not only to how to prevent gastroenteritis, but also to the early signs and symptoms of these infections so that proper intervention strategies can be promptly initiated.

This module begins with the clinical symptoms and definition of a gastroenteritis outbreak. It is followed by sources, routes, risk factors, and the impact of gastroenteritis on aged care facilities. Participants will then study the main pathogens causing gastroenteritis in aged care facilities in Australia, treatment and prevention strategies, and the requirements of notification and isolation of infected patients.

This module is especially relevant to nurses and nursing assistants working in the aged care setting. It is also recommended for anyone involved in nursing care who has frequent contact with the elderly.

Learning Objective

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Know the definition of a gastroenteritis outbreak.
  • Outline the clinical symptoms of gastroenteritis.
  • Outline the sources and routes of infection.
  • Understand the impact of gastroenteritis on the elderly.
  • Identify the risk factors for gastroenteritis.
  • Know the main pathogens causing gastroenteritis in aged care facilities in Australia.
  • Understand treatment and prevention principles.
  • Outline the notification and isolation strategies.

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