Sonia Bedford, Deputy Ward Manager at the Prince of Wales Hospice in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, explains how 10 minute lessons are empowering their clinical staff.
Without doubt one of the biggest challenges faced by hospices is providing education to their staff. While we do provide internal study days to clinical staff throughout the year, we wanted to offer ongoing education alongside that.
Following a senior nurse meeting, we decided to trial 10 minute sharing and learning sessions after our lunchtime nurse handovers, Monday to Friday. The idea is to offer education and training in bite-sized chunks, to either enhance knowledge and skills or to promote awareness, with the aim of improving standards of patient care within the hospice.
To start with Deputy Nurse Manager Rebecca Norris and I facilitated the sessions, with topics including symptom management, oncological emergencies, staff wellbeing, nutrition, catheter care, pressure ulcer management, safe use of equipment, learning disabilities and wheelchair training, to mention just a few. Over time other members of the team have participated in delivering sessions, particularly those who undertake additional link worker roles. Staff have been encouraged to share any skills and knowledge they have gained while attending external study days.
The sessions have been running for almost a year and have evolved during this time; we have reviewed and adapted them to meet the challenges we have encountered. Colleagues from the multi-disciplinary team, such as our physiotherapist and social worker have undertaken education pertinent to their roles. This has resulted in a better understanding of their roles within the wider clinical workforce, and led to more effective team working.
Staff feedback suggests that the sessions are having positive benefits; they feel they are effective and enjoyable. Encouragingly, staff have begun to take ownership of the lessons, suggesting future topics for discussion. We have found that since introducing the 10 minute sharing and learning sessions team morale has improved with staff telling us they feel included and valued.
We plan to continue with the sharing and learning sessions with our intention being to build on our success. They are proving to be effective in ensuring our busy clinical workforce gains the knowledge and skills required to deliver high quality care to our patients.
For more information visit Prince of Wales Hospice