Can the use of a mannequin help hospice nurses retain competence in seldom used clinical skills?
Background Simulation is widely used to teach healthcare professionals end of life care communication skills (Smith, Tamara, Macierira et al., 2018, cites 30 such studies) and the use of simulation is becoming commonplace in undergraduate nurse programmes (Warren, Luctkar-Flude, Godfrey et al., 2016; Cant & Cooper, 2017). However, little research has been carried out into the retention of seldom used clinical skills by nurses working in a hospice inpatient unit (IPU). Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is often difficult for IPU nurses to achieve and retain some clinical skills, including administering IV therapies, tracheostomy care, PEG management, stoma care and catheterisation.
Aim To enable IPU nurses to attain/retain some key clinical skills, thereby increasing their confidence and improving the care they are able to offer to patients.
Methods Registered nurse competencies will be reviewed in June 2018 to establish who is within timeframe for competence achievement/retention. A planned programme incorporating theory and practical sessions with the mannequin for the clinical skills listed above will be delivered between June and December 2018. Competencies will be re-reviewed in December 2018.
Results It is anticipated that all nurses will have completed competencies in the listed skills by 1 January 2019. A rolling programme can then be put in place to ensure retention of skills.
Conclusion Patients have a right to expect optimal care. Nurses are mandated to be competent and confident in the clinical skills utilised in achieving that care. The use of a clinical skills mannequin may be a way of achieving and retaining that competence and confidence in seldom used skills, and hence may be instrumental in achieving optimal patient care.
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