Counties Manukau Health’s inaugural 2016 Emergency Department Nursing Scholarship programme has already brought practical changes to the way nurses work with patients and whānau in the wards, according to Annie Fogarty, Clinical Nurse Director Acute Care.
Co-design methods, supported by Ko Awatea, set the framework for the change.
Nursing interns Diana Sigbalavu, Jaana Downie, Reuben Sutton (Manukau Institute of Technology) and Vivian Washington (University of Auckland), participated in a six-week internship programme which culminated with a co-design project in the emergency department that examined the effects of repeated questioning of our patients and whānau.
They investigated how patients feel about being asked repeated questions and whether there was some way that questioning could be limited. According to their findings, surprisingly the majority of patients didn’t mind and actually enjoyed being asked the questions because it made them feel safe.
“It taught us not to make any assumptions about how patients feel. It was really good to get that patient perspective. We developed even more empathy towards patients and it helped us improve as nurses”, said Reuben Sutton.
Data collected during the project showed that there wasn’t a need to reduce questioning but patients said they would like to have better access to their health information, so the scholarship students recommended the design of a health status document or app that could potentially close this gap and help improve patient literacy.
“It is amazing to see the former scholarship students and now registered nurses using co-design methods and understanding the impact this has made to their practice”, added Renee Greaves, Patient and Whānau Care Advisor.
The former nursing students are now working as registered nurses at CM Health.