Preparing Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Students for Abscess Incision and Drainage Skill Through Clinical Simulation

Saturday, 28 October 2017: 2:15 PM

Bola Fadipe, DNP
Rutgers University/ STTI Alpha Tau Chapter, Newark, NJ, USA

The primary care nurse practitioners (NP) role is rapidly evolving as they provide quality and safe care just as good as physicians. NPs are continuously rising to meeting these challenges and demands of health care. This became an essential turning point for NPs, hospitals, physician shortages, and populations with poor accessibility to health care.

As more states allow full scope autonomous practice, NPs are out there ready to provide safe and quality patient-centered care. NPs are also prepared with basic clinical skills before entering autonomous practice. In reality, in the outpatient settings, NPs are faced with advanced clinical problems requiring interventions such as abscess incision and drainage (I&D) among many others. Common work areas for NPs include, urgent care centers, primary care clinics, and ambulatory walk-in clinics. NPs are encountering the need to perform an abscess I&D in those work areas. Abscess skin infections are common to people of all ages, which support why incision and drainage of an abscess is a commonly practiced procedure among the pediatric, family, and adult-geriatric practice settings.

However, this procedure is not taught widely in the Pediatric, Family, or Adult-Geriatric NP programs. This increases the demand on NP programs to include clinical competencies to better prepare students. Since NP students may not have adequate exposure to commonly performed procedures, innovation of simulation education can compensate. Utilization of simulation in healthcare has gained approval as an essential tool for teaching and learning technical/nontechnical skills in healthcare. Researchers have shown that the use of simulation improves the learner’s skill performance, alters attitudes, and enhances knowledge.

This Doctor of Nursing Practice study developed, implemented, and evaluated an evidence-based simulation program to teach primary care NP students I&D skills. Descriptive frequency and statistical test results were analyzed to compare the knowledge and skills before and after the I&D simulation intervention. This study found that NP students who participated were able to achieve a basic level of competence of the I&D skill after the clinical simulation via a pretest, I&D simulation intervention, and posttest design.