In every healthcare organization, the units that comprise the company have a way they work to give the best care. “Learning needs assessment can be undertaken for many reasons, so its purpose should be defined and should determine the method used and the use made of findings” (Grant, 2002, para.1). The main purpose of needs assessment is to help educate the staff. Continuing education is of the vital importance to any hospital regardless of the type of organization. For nurses to increase their knowledge base to provide the best and most effective care they must make an effort. Using the most relevant evidence can help them achieve that.
Motivation is a factor that nurses must obtain to stay current and updated within their profession. Health care system is always advancing and to remain proficient as a nurse, you must have the necessary skills. When things are not done well or there if a need for learning it is important to know how to assess it. Also important is figuring out what is needed to be taught and how your company goes about educating their staff. Performing a needs assessment will allow the educator to make sure the most important issue is addressed by the team as they the ones that we use to create a learning program. The Institution
South Miami Hospital is part of a large health care organization of Baptist Health of South Florida. The workplace to be assessed and analyzed is a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The NICU is a 49-bed unit, but we can take care of 55 patients. Our patient based ranges from 23 to 41 weeks of gestational age. On average our census is 44 babies. We have 180 nurses on staff that includes part time to full time registered nurses (RN’s). Our team consist of respiratory therapist, occupational and physical therapist and neonatologist.
At South Miami Hospital, like many others there are always education updates needed. Working as a nurse, the priority of safety of patients is number one. The policies we have our guidelines to guaranteed this safety. Every hospital is different, so it’s important to know theses policies and procedures. Policies and procedure are in place to help staff know what is the best to be done for the safety of our patients. Sample
As mentioned, the unit is comprised over 180 nurses, closer to 200 people when speaking of all that participate in the care of our patients. The sample size that participated in the NICU was fifteen nurses. Their experiences are ranging from two years to almost ten. To get good data, it’s necessary to have a range of experience. The data that was collected through them answering questions. Before handing out the questions, they were verbally asked if the were willing to participate. Each nurse was given a piece of paper with these questions, and there was an option to be anonymous. People can be more truthful when anonymous. Printed instructions were also on the sheet of paper with the questions. The questionnaire consisted of three parts which were: 1) what they thought was the most important educational need of our unit, 2) the solution to this educational need and 3) how they would like to learn this need. Results
All 15 of the participants returned the questionnaire. The majority of the nurses mentioned two concerns. The highest priority was the documenting, more precisely lack of or incorrect. The nurses suggested that at discharge there was missing information on their patient. Documentation, known as charting has been in effect in our unit for over five years. The problem they saw was the lack of charting done on patients or the information was wrong. The nurses did not require education on the actual part of charting but what needed to be charted. Reinforcement of the importance of charting was required to be also be implemented. If you don’t chart it, it’s like you didn’t do it. There needs to be documentation of teaching done, vaccinations give, and how well they feed their infant just to name a few. By having the staff input on how they want to learn the information can and will be used to do so. Education and the teaching interventions will always need to take place to assist in the learning needs of the unit.
Multiple interventions can be used to help with this learning need. Once a clinical problem has been found it is necessary to know what learning method will be used educate. This can be a complicated process. There isn’t one way of learning something or teaching it. Different learning methods tend to suit different nurses just like there are several learning needs. Institutional Forces
When there is something to be implemented there will be some barriers to triumph over. Luckily for this learning need education there should not be any financial constraints. One issue regarding this kind of education is a time constraint. Time constraint is an issue for the one educating as well as the nurses learning the information. Many nurses don’t want to stay after work or come in on their days off to hear about proper documentation. To get management on board, they will need to see the benefit of the result of this learning need as well as its non-financial need. If management is in agreement with the information to be educated on, it will be received correctly and will be retained. By staff being better educated on documenting it will lead to discharges not having any setbacks. In the NICU, there are many educational aspects that take place with the families. The learning needs to be seen as a way to improve patient satisfaction and decrease the costs of patients staying longer in the unit.
To begin implementing the learning needs regarding documentation, the educator must know what the issues are with the documentation. With the information gained from the fifteen nurses, it’s will be more beneficial to get maybe a bigger sample from the staff. The clinical educator may need to speak to an expert on the documentation, an IT specialist that works for the hospital. With the information gained from staff and approval from management, the teaching can proceed. Conclusion
A learning needs assessment is a pivotal function in education. This assessment is required to lead to changes in practice related to an educational process. When you have to learn needed, it will lead to a change in practice. It is imperative to have high-quality nursing care, and that depends upon a nursing workforce that is competent and that can be seen by engaging in continuing education. To keep up with health care and staff probably would be beneficial to provide these learning needs assessments. With things like the importance of documentation of patient care is brought to light it will benefit all that is around.
Grant, J. (2002). Learning needs assessment: Assessing the need. British Medical Journal, 324(7330), 156-9. Retrieved on May 2, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com/docview/ 204042337?accountid=35812