Despite the growing number of individuals with dementia, clinicians skilled in caring for people with dementia, especially in rural areas, are lacking. The Program for Advancing Cognitive Disorders Education for Rural Staff (PACERS) was designed to improve clinician competency and comfort when caring for individuals with dementia. Based on an interprofessional needs assessment, six 1‐hour training modules were created: (1) Dementia and Delirium, (2) Identifying and Assessing for Dementia, (3) Treating Dementia: Case Studies, (4) Normal Cognitive Aging and Dementia Caregiving, (5) Addressing Decision Making and Safety in Dementia, and (6) Dementia and Driving. Each module is available for free on the Department of Veterans Affairs Talent Management System (TMS) for employees and the free TrainingFinder Real‐time Affiliate Integrated Network (TRAIN) platform for clinicians in the community. One continuing education unit is earned upon completion of each module.
Online training at VA TMS and TRAIN.
To date, more than 3000 modules have been completed by interprofessional healthcare learners (eg, nurses, physicians, psychologists, and social workers).
Satisfaction, perceived utility of training, knowledge, skills, and attitudes were assessed.
The learners reported high satisfaction (mean [M] > 4) and ability to apply the knowledge and skills learned from the module to their job (M > 4) on a Likert scale (1 = Strongly disagree to 5 = Strongly agree).
Learners also reported perceived impact on both direct patient care (eg, ability to provide education and support to individuals with dementia and their caregivers) and system‐level care (eg, more appropriate referrals). Given the number of users and their evaluation data, PACERS can serve as a model curriculum for online interprofessional dementia training.