ABSTRACT: The impact of a web-based educational program on the recognition and management of deteriorating patients
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
To evaluate the effectiveness of a web-based educational program to enhance enrolled nurses’ knowledge and skills in the recognition and management of deteriorating patients.
Ward nurses of different skill levels play a pivotal role in detecting and responding to deteriorating patients. A skill-mix of registered nurses, enrolled nurses, licensed practice nurses or healthcare assistants is often employed for the provision of nursing care in acute settings. Non-registered nurses frequently perform bedside care and are in the best position to detect deteriorating patients and initiate immediate actions, including commanding the attention of registered nurses. Education is needed to improve the knowledge and skills of these nurses.
A randomized controlled trial with a pre-test-post-test design.
The sample included enrolled nurses from an acute care tertiary hospital. Following a baseline evaluation, the experimental group received a web-based educational intervention. Pre-post assessment of skills and knowledge were evaluated with a simulated scenario and a knowledge questionnaire. Sixty-four nurses completed the entire study.
Following the intervention, participants from the experimental group were significantly more likely than those in control group to monitor the patient’s respiratory and pulse rates. In addition, they had significantly higher post-test mean scores for knowledge and skills in assessing and managing clinical deterioration, and reporting deterioration.
The web-based educational intervention significantly improved enrolled nurses’ knowledge and skills in the recognition and management of a deteriorating patient in a simulated setting.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:
Ease of access to the web-based platform contributed to the feasibility and acceptability of this study, which has the potential to positively impact patient safety.