The impact of a multimodal education strategy (the DeTER program) on nurses' recognition and response to deteriorating patients

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Duff, B, Massey, D, Gooch, R & Wallis, M 2018, 'The impact of a multimodal education strategy (the DeTER program) on nurses' recognition and response to deteriorating patients', Nurse Education in Practice, vol. 31, pp. 130-135.

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Nurses are ideally positioned to recognise and respond to patient deterioration. However, premonitory signs of patient deterioration are often overlooked, not managed, or not communicated in a timely fashion. Education programs aimed at improving nurses' technical and non-technical skills have been developed, however, the outcomes of these educational strategies remain unclear.

A quasi-experimental time series design was used in this study to evaluate the impact of a multi-modal education program (DeTER) on acute care nurses' technical and non-technical skill development and recognition and response to patient deterioration. Participants were asked to complete a survey on four occasions: one month prior to commencement of the DeTER program, immediately prior and post workshop attendance and two-three months' post workshop completion. Pre-intervention, data were collected on participants' demographic profile and their responses to the Clinical Emergency Recognition and Response Survey designed by (Buckley and Gordon, 2011). Post intervention these data were collected again and, in addition, respondents were asked to report on their recent experiences of deteriorating patients and report on their confidence in managing these incidents.

Sixty staff consented to participate in the study and all completed the surveys at time 2 and 3. In total 32 staff (45%) responded at all time points. Participants included registered nurses (n = 51; 85%), and enrolled nurses (n = 9; 15%), on average they had worked for 10.4 years (sd = 11.1). Participants rated patient advocacy and assertiveness skills as the most useful aspects of the workshop.

Recognition and response to deteriorating patients by ward nurses is a multifaceted process influenced by many factors. Our study supports the importance of multimodal educational strategies in sustaining changes to ward nurses' technical and non-technical skills over time.

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