Completing a community health clinical rotation is a requirement for fourth-year Bachelor of Nursing students. Before being matched in a placement, each student chooses an area of interest and students Jada, Yvonne and Nico expressed were interested in client safety. During their three-month placement with the Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) Quality and Patient Safety department, the students were involved in presenting to a national fall prevention community of practice and with a bedside communication tool project.
Firstly, the students prepared and delivered a 45-minute presentation explaining PMH’s Safe Client Handling Program and the importance of safe client transfers in relation to falls as part of National Falls Prevention Month on LOOP. The LOOP Fall Prevention Community of Practice is a bilingual online communication platform that brings together a variety of people committed to advancing evidence-based practices in the field of fall prevention and has regular speakers presenting on fall prevention topics.
One of the students’ mentors, Nancy Tregunna, is a PMH Innovation & Quality Improvement Specialist and is one of the LOOP Core Team Committee members. Nancy shared with the committee members the success of PMH’s Safe Client Handling Program, and identified an opportunity for the students to present on both falls and proper client transferring techniques. The presentation was delivered nationally on November 18th, 2021 and has been posted on LOOP’s YouTube page. The attendees of the webinar were impressed with the program, especially with the ongoing education of PMH staff.
Secondly, the students were asked to participate in a project examining the use of bedside communication tools in the PMH long-term care (LTC) settings. Bedside communication tools are used to communicate aspects of a resident’s care such as their mobility and transfer status as well as safety concerns, and regular updates are required. These updates are imperative to preventing errors when caring for residents. The students along with other healthcare staff worked with mentors Tonia Barwick, Nancy Tregunna, and Marcia Snyder on a Failure Modes Effects Analysis (FMEA) to determine the risks versus the benefits of using the tools, and used survey data to provide background information. The students compiled the results and developed a presentation on key findings for LTC leaders.
The students appreciated this placement opportunity, as it was completely different from previous clinical placements where the focus was on client care. Participating in the FMEA portion of this project allowed the students to identify risks within a process, and highlight ways to mitigate those risks. They learned the importance of reporting incidents and near misses, using safe client transferring techniques and the complexity of falls prevention. In their future careers, the students stated they will continue to be vigilant regarding strategies to prevent falls and with transferring patients safely to avoid injury to patients and staff.
Pictured are Brandon University Bachelor of Nursing students (l-r): Dominic (Nico) Miranda. Yvonne Amofa Agyekum and Jada Grant.