Fresh eyes': Best practice knowledge of graduate nurses helps improve patient care at Peel Health Campus

'Fresh eyes': Best practice knowledge of graduate nurses helps improve patient care at Peel Health Campus

This is sponsored content for Peel Health Campus.

The insights of some of our brightest young nurses are being harnessed to help improve patient services at Mandurah's Peel Health Campus.

The nurses have completed the hospital's 12 month GradPlus program, which allows the selected candidates to put their university studies into action. They gain clinical and theoretical experience across a number of different specialties at the hospital.

As well as supporting and mentoring them in their transition from university to fully practising registered nurses, Peel Health Campus (PHC) - part of Ramsay Health Care - uses the program as an opportunity to improve patient care practices by tapping into the best practice knowledge the young participants have gained during their university studies.

As part of the program, these future leaders of the nursing profession are asked to identify and then implement an individual quality care improvement activity that can improve patient experiences and outcomes.

"We see the grads as fresh eyes," said PHC senior clinical educator Kate Darwen who runs the GradPlus program at the hospital. "They're just out of university and aware of the most current best practice so we ask them to apply that and develop ideas for doing things even better here in terms of quality improvement.

"They bring a brand new perspective and always come up with innovative, out-of-the-box thinking which is what we strongly encourage at PHC - it's why we have become so progressive. My message to the graduates is always, 'The sky is the limit'. We want to hear ideas about how we can improve our service and our patient care."

Ms Darwen said, as in previous years, the nurses had embraced the challenge and uncovered a range of quality improvement activities that are now being rolled out at PHC.

They include:

  • A plan to prevent falls by communicating more directly with patients and their families that they have been identified by using PHC's risk assessment team as being a high falls risk. "The change is that we are now actually involving the patient, telling them they are at high risk of a fall and the things we are putting in place to prevent them from falling that they must follow," said Ms Darwen.
  • lmproving PHC's language interpretive services and increasing awareness about the services. This involved re-designing the posters promoting the service to include information in the language of the most common ethnicities of patients likely to come to PHC. "We have these services in place because we want to make sure all our patients understand what we are saying and we can understand them but our posters were previously all in English so not very helpful for people who couldn't read English." said Ms Darwen.
  • Increasing awareness about a help line that a patient's family can phone if they feel their loved one is not receiving the care they needed. "The system allows the family to easily escalate concerns and has been a part of Ramsay Health Care for many years. One of our grads was passionate about making sure all patients and their carers were aware of the system. The information posters are now at every patient's bedside to make sure everyone who comes to the hospital sees them and knows they can escalate any concerns," said Ms Darwen.

Ms Darwen said the GradPlus quality improvement activity had become a valuable tool in PHC's mission to continually raise its patient care standards. Many of the insights gleaned in the past have also been picked up and used by other hospitals across the Ramsay Health Care group.

"It's a big benefit to us, and for the new nurses it gives them a sense of ownership and encourages them to be leaders in their field," she said.

"From the moment they walk through our door we see these young nurses as our future leaders, and we want to nurture and support them to develop in their profession and follow their passions.

"We really need new nurses coming in, we need their fresh ideas and we want to do everything we can to put them on the right pathways for their career and encourage them to look towards future leadership roles."

The current cohort of students will graduate in February 2021, before a fresh year of budding nurses join the program.

Peel Health Campus is part of Ramsay Health Care, a global health care company with a reputation for operating high-quality services and delivering excellent patient care. Ramsay was established in Australia in 1964 by Paul Ramsay AO and today has more than 50 years of experience in providing acute health care services. Ramsay focuses on maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety, being an employer of choice, and operating its business according to The Ramsay Way philosophy: "People Caring for People".

This is sponsored content for Peel Health Campus