Web site spotlight: Communicate important issues with "just-in-time" posters

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, March 27, 2009

Nurses are constantly on the go. And as staffing shortages become more common, it’s more important than ever to keep nurses on the floor providing patient care. That’s why Sandra Bunn, RN, MSN, CRRN, rehab services educator at the University Hospital and Clinics in Salt Lake City, UT, has developed several quick methods for educating nurses that not only provide the necessary information, but take little time and effort on the part of staff nurses.

When Bunn needs to communicate something to her nurses, she’ll often use what she calls “just-in-time” posters. The posters are displayed in the nursing lounge and give quick, easy-to-remember pieces of information and are hung next to a tear-off pad. Nurses are expected to tear off a page and use the top as a quick reference until they get used to the new equipment or supply. The bottom half contains questions they must answer and turn in to Bunn to demonstrate that they have read and digested the information.

When a new poster is put up, managers and educators see a response immediately. “They see it right away and respond pretty quickly,” Bunn says, adding that if you put information where staff members usually take breaks, they’ll be more likely to take notice of it. “They don’t have time to stand around reading things, so we put it where they are.”

Each poster usually stays in place for about a month, Bunn says, to make sure that all staff—even per diem, who sometimes are in the hospital only every couple of weeks. “With the per diem staff, it’s always a challenge to get them up to speed,” she says.

Editor’s note: This excerpt was adapted fromQuick ideas keep nurses trained, but on the floorfound in the Reading Room at Get a free trial membership that will give you 30 days to test drive all the exciting features on the Web site.

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