Jiahui Wong (de Souza Institute, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto); Mary Jane Esplen (de Souza Institute, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto); Barbara Fitzgerald (Princess Margaret Hospital); Pearlina Dawes (Princess Margaret Hospital); Esther Green (Cancer Care Ontario)
A nursing continuing education program has been introduced to an oncology unit in a teaching hospital. The impact of the program on unit wide change of practice will be reported.
A pilot project is underway at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) to assess the impact of an intensive education program on nursing skills and competencies across a variety of domains of oncology practice.
Led by de Souza Institute, this study includes 3 components: 1) A nursing educational intervention at the PMH Solid Tumour Unit to bring evidence based best practice to the entire unit; 2) A PMH developed patient self administered “Distress Assessment and Response Tool” (DART) to report distress; and 3) A monthly chart audit to assess changes in clinical management of DART identified distress.
All 50 nurses participated in the multifaceted learning program. 283 patients (60% of total eligible patients) participated in twice a week DART screening. 269 charts were reviewed on nursing response to DART identified distress. An interrupted time series analysis will be used to plot the trend or changes of outcome measures over time. Qualitative data includes nurses’ perception on the usefulness of clinically relevant continuing educations, process issues such as scheduling conflict, perceived lack of incentive to change “routine practices”, and a high staff turnover rate. The role of unit leadership is also a critical factor in knowledge uptake.
Application and Future Directions
High quality nursing care is a critical component of an effective cancer care system. This study will provide outcome data and perspectives from educators, providers, and patients and families, in terms of how to effectively bring best practice to point of care through accessible and relevant educational program.
de Souza Institute is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. This project is part of the de Souza program evaluation.
There is no conflict of interest.