A quality improvement project aimed at improving the knowledge and practices of acute care nurses caring for adults with intellectual disabilities was conducted at an academic medical center. Baseline data from the nurses revealed limited knowledge and experience in caring for adults with intellectual disabilities in the acute care setting. The objectives of a two-hour educational program provided to nurses were to articulate the best practices in caring for this patient population, discuss the patient and family needs, explain the nursing challenges caring for this population, identify 2 Signs/symptoms of the most common medical complications associated with this population, list 3 strategies for caring for this population and recognize the unique needs of this patient population. After the training nurses reported increased knowledge, 94.4% of the attendees were inspired to learn more about the subject and 88.9% reported they would apply the new knowledge to their practice.
Improving the knowledge and skill set of the nurses caring for the intellectually disabled adult in the acute care setting improves the quality of care and has the potential to decrease the morbidity and mortality rate. This program further supports the need for expanding nursing curriculums to include the care of this population over the lifespan.
This educational program was recorded and uploaded to the hospital employee YouTube channel to enable continued education of additional nurses and sustainability of the quality improvement program.
See more of: Oral Paper & Poster: Evidence-Based Practice Sessions