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Community Nursing: allowing continuity to better patient outcomes – a student nurse’s QI experience

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JodieKennedy_QNISCertW

Nurse Jodie Kennedy

Community Nursing is a highly demanding and complex sector due to an ageing population and the rising number of patients living within the community with long term conditions.

I undertook my first Community placement during the final year of my Nursing degree. I was extremely apprehensive going into this placement as Community Nursing was not an area that I thought that I would enjoy. However, the team that I joined to undertake my Community placement were undoubtedly the most welcoming and supporting team I could have wished for. I was given the opportunity to take my own caseload of patients. As a third-year student it was crucial that I showed enthusiasm, drive and motivation to promote health care within the Community sector. I achieved this through my Quality Improvement Practicum that I devised and implemented within my 10 weeks of being with the team.

Quality Improvement is a major aspect of Nursing.  As healthcare professionals, it is vital that we always strive to deliver evidence based care to promote effective safe practice through education and further learning. My QI Practicum was to “Improve the daily completion of the Daily Pressure Ulcer Safety Cross”. This was done through continuous auditing and devising a new daily planner for the Nursing team to ensure that daily completion was being achieved, as failure to do so leads to discrepancies, and can have an everlasting impact on patient safety.  I’m delighted to say that as a result of completing my QI project on the daily completion of the Safety Cross it went from 22% to 100% accuracy.

On completion of this placement I also left another form of documentation that I had devised: “Daily Pressure Ulcer Safety Cross – Nursing Intervention”. This new form of documentation allowed the team to obtain accurate evidence of the provisions of care that they were delivering to patients on their caseload with pressure area. I thoroughly enjoyed my Community Nursing placement, and on reflection, I was continually learning, and the opportunities within the sector to promote learning were always made available to healthcare professionals.

On receiving the news that I had won the QNIS Undergraduate Award for promoting excellence in Community Nursing, I felt extremely honoured and proud to receive such as prestigious award.  I was overcome with emotion to be informed that my hard work within the Community sector had been recognised, which was something that I set out to achieve whilst undertaking my Quality Improvement project, which strived to promote excellence in care delivery within the Community sector. Winning this award has made me even more determined to continue my Community Nursing Career in the future.

At present, I have just started my first post in an Acute Admissions Unit working with first line assessment and dealing with acute deterioration and patient management. Looking to the future I would like to continue to work with Quality Improvement which requires commitment and drive to change aspects of care delivery that would continue to benefit patient outcomes. I would also like to move away from an acute setting in the future to develop my Nursing career within the Community Sector. I enjoy the thought of one day becoming a Tissue Viability Nurse Specialist or a Colorectal Nurse Specialist.

I feel that Community Nursing allows for continuity which is a huge part in bettering patient outcomes. I hope that throughout my Nursing career that I am able to satisfy patients’ needs, as this is very rewarding and fulfilling as a Nurse.

Jodie Kennedy, 2017 Graduate, University of Stirling
20 November 2017

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