Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Early Recognition and Treatment of Sepsis in the Pediatric Emergency Patient to Improve Patient Outcomes

Jane Stuart-Minaret RN, MN
The Hospital for Sick Children (Sickkids)

I have worked as a pediatric emergency nurse for many years and have always been passionate about leading the way to improve or enhance care for my patients and their families. The RNAO Advanced Clinical Practice Fellowship (ACPR) offered me an excellent opportunity to pursue this passion.

The primary goal of my RNAO Advance Clinical Practice Fellowship (ACPF) was to develop my clinical knowledge and expertise related to the nursing care of the pediatric patient with potential sepsis. My workplace, the emergency department (ED) at the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) was the setting of my experience.

My fellowship had three major areas of focus.

  1. Increasing my knowledge and understanding of pediatric sepsis
  2. Translating my knowledge to practice for this patient population
  3. Developing a sustainable program that will enhance outcomes for children with sepsis

I had many exciting opportunities during this fellowship. Networking with other pediatric experts through CAPHC (Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centers) and ENA (Emergency Nurses Association), conference attendance and developing a quality practice initiative were just a few these opportunities. Working with my mentors and learning from experts facilitated the achievement of my fellowship objectives.

My activities included an extensive review of the literature, consultations with experts to learn about knowledge translation strategies and work with the leadership multidisciplinary team to access needs and plan initiatives that would facilitate best practices for pediatric patients with sepsis in our department.
I worked in liaison with our Informatics Lead, Quality Practice Specialist and Physician lead to develop specialized electronic documentation that would enhance patient care and documentation. Educational initiatives I developed with the aid of my primary mentor included case study classes, orientation classes, simulation training and 1:1 training for RN education related to the goal of enhancing care for patients with sepsis. Initial project findings following my initiatives demonstrate earlier identification and improved care processes leading to more positive outcomes for these patients.

During the fellowship I developed an appreciation of the challenges faced when implementing and designing sustainable strategies that would facilitate changes to clinical practice. I noted that involving stakeholders in the process to access practice barriers and utilizing their feedback facilitated successful practice changes.

I am excited that my project initiatives will continue to be used to sustain practice changes for pediatric patients with sepsis. The hospital has identified improving care for this patient group is a priority and is therefore supporting me to implement further initiatives that will enhance care for this patient population.

Personal knowledge development, translating this knowledge to practice and sharing my knowledge with colleagues through the initiatives I developed were the highlights of my fellowship. I hope to share my experiences through networking and conference presentation in the future.

I am very honored and thankful for being offered this opportunity by the RNAO and I would like to thank my primary mentor, Carrie Glanfield, ANPE, DPEM and my secondary mentor Dr. Schonfeld MD, DPEMfor their support and guidance. A special thank you to my leadership team Linette Margallo, Krista MacMurdo, Margot Follett-Rowe, Linda Marques, Catherine Rowley and Savie Jodhan for facilitating my fellowship activities.

I would like to acknowledge my appreciation to the RNAO for providing me with this exciting opportunity.