Inside scoop from our experts: Safe patient handling and movement

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, March 29, 2010

This week’s question on staff education comes from a discussion on JourneyTalk. Meryl Montgomery, RN, MSN, nursing QI coordinator with the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, provides some insight.

Q: We are looking for best ways to educate nurses on safe patient handling and movement, as well as education on workplace safety improvements such as needlesticks and eye splashes. Do you have any suggestions?

A: Our most successful methodologies include multiple teaching methods including:

  • fliers
  • "potty training" (notes in bathrooms)
  • information in change of shift huddles
  • staff meetings
  • Unit Council meetings
  • intranet-based CDs (home grown)
  • classroom demonstration and return demonstration
  • reinforcement during annual skills days or annual competency re-assessment
  • management role modeling and clarifying expectations
  • signing agreements to utilize minimal lift eqt, PDA

A key for us has been the establishment of "champions" in various areas—nurses who are interested/passionate about injury prevention. They receive special education and training and become the expert in their unit. We utilize a "train the trainer" methodology frequently with enhanced success. In all situations, we focus on WIIFM (what's in it for me) with case studies and the personal impact workplace safety has on each nurse/tech.

We also use written or online surveys to assess cultural shifts and voracity of our educational efforts. Education in these areas is tied to outcomes—what is the subsequent injury or splash or stick rate? What is compliance with policy?

Finally, we decide ahead of time what the consequences for noncompliance will be and what we can do to reward/recognize units and individuals.

Editor's note: On JourneyTalk you can network with your peers, discuss the new manual, share your helpful tips, and get advice on how to meet the program's expectations. Become a member of JourneyTalk when you subscribe to HCPro's Resource Center for the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®.

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