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Nursing Education: Quality and Safety in Nursing

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Throughout the world, delivery systems in healthcares are implementing new quality and safety science in reply to surprising reports regarding the negative outcomes of patients. Several healthcare professionals have insufficient knowledge, attitudes and skills required to modify the systems in which they work thus call for essential restructuring of the nursing education to incorporate new safety and quality science in the nursing system (Sherwood, 2011). The ultimate aim of this study is to compare different methods that enhance quality and safety in nursing and healthcare systems. Therefore, the emphasis is put on implementation of patient simulator in promoting quality and safety in the nursing system (Ironside & Sitterding, 2009).

Promoting Quality and Safety through Education with the Patient Simulator Methods

Patient safety is an all-dimensional factor that is the background of clinical education. Several issues and principles concerning patient safety and quality services can be easily encompassed into education of nurses using patient simulator (Preheim, Armstrong & Barton, 2009). Therefore, the four main methods of enhancing patient simulation include preventing medication errors, establishing critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills, enhancing effective communication and promoting teamwork (Ironside & Sitterding, 2009).

Preventing Medication Errors

According to the 20006 IOM report on Preventing Medication Errors, more than 1.5 million preventable errors in medication takes place every year in the United States. The report shows that averagely, an inpatient is subjected to at least one medication error every day.  New strategies were then laid down to minimize such effects on inpatients (Sherwood, 2011). First, it was discovered that most of the medication errors normally occur during the administration and prescription stages and are characterized by numerous characters.  These medication errors commonly known as adverse drug events (ADEs), happen at evolution points during hospitalization, which involves admission, transfer between units and during discharge. Most of the nurses and nurse students tend to be in haste and end up making many mistakes. Their haste usually leads them to confuse names of drugs with similar names (Preheim, Armstrong & Barton, 2009). Moreover, lack of understanding by patients concerning their medication is also a major factor, which involves the risks and negative effects of medication and what the nurses have to do if the side effects occur. Therefore, during the nurse training, the emphasis is put in these areas and the professors ensure that such errors no longer occur. The emphasis is actually put on the medication administration, which is an important aspect of nursing practice. The student nurses are also taught the essence of preventing environmental distractions, drug labeling difficulties and miscommunication that are all brought about by carelessness and lack of concentration during the medication process (Sherwood, 2011). The nurse course has also discovered the essence of teaching safe administration of medication and provision of quality services to the patients and this has greatly reduced the medication errors that have affected several patients in the past years (Ironside & Sitterding, 2009).

Developing Critical-Thinking and Clinical Decision Making Skills

There is a massive challenge for the nursing educators to instruct the nursing students to think critically beyond simply “knowing” to progress the synthesis and application of knowledge as they describe, plan, implement and examine nursing care. Simulation issues out a racecourse to the traditional teacher-hearted approach to nursing education where stress is put on educating needs and partialities of contemporary nursing students (Preheim, Armstrong & Barton, 2009). Simulated learning practices with the patient simulator, permitting faculty to depict students to circumstances that they may never see in the clinical workshop experiences. Since the nursing students are positioned in a range of units for their clinical knowledge, there is inefficiency in reliability as far as learning opportunities across and among the students are concerned (Sherwood, 2011). The implementation of the patient simulator facilitates the faculty to issue out structured simulation lab knowledge rather than trying to establish suitable and or rare patient care opportunities in a health care setting.

Promoting Effective Communication

Communication is the key factor that enhances the relationship between the patients and the nurses. It is clear that majority of unpleasant events taking place in health care environments involve miscommunication. Communication is depicted as 70 percent of all lookout events in health centers as published by the Joint Commission. In order to enhance quality patient care, effective communication and teamwork must be taken into consideration (Ironside & Sitterding, 2009). The focus in nurse training is put on the intra-disciplinary communication discipline where each of the discipline contains its own expectations terminologies and idiosyncrasies comparative to communication. This is where emphasis is put on standardized interdisciplinary communication that enhances quality of care and facilitates patient safety. Nowadays, the health centers employ the use of SBAR model, which is a communication model, intended to facilitate both written and verbal communication.

Encouraging Teamwork

In order to enhance the quality of patient services and their safety, the hospital nurses must have a strong teamwork which works hand in hand. This is because most of the processes in the hospitals involve movement of the patients from one nurse to the other. When the nurses are not in good terms, the people affected are the patients (Sherwood, 2011). That is why the nurse teachers emphasize on the need of employing teamwork in health centers. They issue out a number of strategies that help the nurses and doctors in hospitals to enhance good relationships. Therefore, while in nursing schools, the nurse students are encouraged to work in groups and to carry out projects as groups to make them learn the essence of working together. Teamwork facilitates decision-making because once the nurses are in good terms; they will always consult each other when making critical decisions concerning the health of patients (Preheim, Armstrong & Barton, 2009). In fact, this is the best way to enhance quality services and the safety of patients in health centers. 

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