Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Restructuring Patient and Family Education resources on a Medical Unit

Marvic Pascual
Toronto General Hosptial

One of Picker’s eight dimensions of patient-centered care is Information and Education. The Advanced Clinical Practice Fellowship program has given me an opportunity to focus on this dimension of patient care in a Medical program. Due to the increasing acuity and complexity of patient diagnoses, patient education has become uncommonly low on the health care teams’ priority. As part of the Organization’s mission and vision of patients as active and full participants of the health care team, it has become vital that patients remain well-informed about their health at every level of their care. Medical patients undergo several diagnostic tests and procedures and it is important they have access to information about those procedures. The goal of this RNAO’s ACPF has been to facilitate accessibility of patient education resources to patients, families, and staff. To achieve this principal objective, I also worked towards developing leadership skills, enriching team-building skills, improving communication and collaborations with the interprofessional team and examined sustainability for the initiative.

I was able to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of adult learning and teaching principles through conduction of several literature reviews and engagement with the Organization’s patient education experts. As part of the Fellowship, I was able to participate in shadowing opportunities in the Medical Imaging department, Allied Health staff, Patient Educator and most importantly, patients and their journey within the hospital processes. I also collaborated with colleagues on the materials that were created to improve patient educational resources in the Program. Individual surveys and focus groups were organized to attain a comprehensive understanding of staff perception of patient education. Several in-services were held to review resources available to patients and staff which resulted in increased awareness of the importance and positive outcomes of patient-centered education. Throughout the Fellowship, I acted as the Patient Education resource on the unit and will continue to do so to support patients and staff.

In order to succeed in this initiative, I learned and practiced the principles of project management. The self-directed learning experience certainly helped me develop leadership skills as well as enhance professional aptitudes. With the support and guidance of my Primary Mentor, I was able to execute decisions that will ensure quality outcomes for the project. I also attended several professional development workshops to enrich understanding and develop skills in promoting nursing knowledge and expertise.

Seeing the overall organizational processes in patient care has certainly made me realize and gain deeper appreciation for the importance of Patient Education in patient care. The experiences that the Fellowship has graced me with have further fueled my passion for education and will continue to model patient-centered education in all aspects of my practice.

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