Penelope Casey

Penelope Casey
PhD Candidate
Monash Eastern Health Clinical School

Professor Peteris Darzins (Main)
Professor Claire Johnson
Professor Wendy Cross

Delirium in older inpatients: Nurses recognition and documentation practices

For Penelope, the opportunity to start her PhD study came just at the right time. Having to juggle family and work commitments, she decided to pursue her PhD with Monash Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences as location was close to home, she had access to clinical space to support her research findings and her lead Professor was based here.

“Since starting my PhD, there has been fantastic support. All of the professors I have worked with have shown incredible foresight and understanding of what it is to be a PhD student.”

Prevent harm in patients with delirium

Elderly patients in hospitals are at risk of delirium. Delirium is a new, reversible confusion, which is typically caused by illness or medications. Penelope is researching how little we know about delirium and how much of this is not sufficiently recorded in patients' medical records. This gap suggests we could do more to better prevent and manage delirium in order to reduce patient harms. As a result, the second part of her research explores how to better educate inter-professional teams to better recognise and manage confusion in patients.

“The most rewarding aspect of my PhD is knowing that I am making a difference to patients which is really the foundation of what I intend to do.”

Supporting her research, Penelope says the “systems and processes are a life-saver.

“Monash Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences runs lots of fantastic and free continuing professional development workshops which help you establish a well-structured PhD.”