When a staff survey of nurses working in the Cardiovascular Unit (CVU) at Royal Jubilee Hospital revealed that many felt frustrated by the lack of opportunities to improve their skills and knowledge to improve patient care, Dr. Brian Gregson decided to do something about it. He knew that the group lacked opportunities to review newer initiatives and treatments as post-cardiac surgery care evolved, and that it could be difficult to ensure consistency of care across different providers. He applied to the South Island Medical Staff Association for funding to support the development of a Cardiovascular Unit education working group to develop a curriculum for regular presentations. These presentations would bring together physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, physiotherapists and dieticians to discuss new and evolving treatments, review philosophies of care, and share insights from different care providers.
The result? Over the course of a year, the group held monthly presentations on key topics and discovered both expected and unexpected results. Staff reported how some knowledge they gleaned from the presentations could be immediately applied to improve patient care. As members of the different healthcare disciplines interacted around these sessions, their appreciation for each other’s roles improved. Specialists noted staff members asking more questions during rounds, and following up on topics that had been discussed at a recent presentation.
Although the formal project has ended, the presentations that were developed will be offered in the future, along with updates about how the science and technology have evolved.
Speaking about the value of the funding, Dr. Gregson stated, “It was critical to motivate people to put the time in to create the lectures initially. Because you’re doing it basically on faith, hoping it will be well attended and well received. When you have the positive feedback, that’s very encouraging in and of itself, but for that initial push, to get the lectures off the ground, we needed the funding”.
We thank Dr. Gregson and the whole CVU team for their engagement around improving patient care!