Monday, November 5, 2007

This presentation is part of : End-of-Life Care
End of Life Care Competencies: Perception of Change after Educational Program
Jane M. Kurz, PhD, RN, CHP/Department of Nursing, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA and Evelyn R. Hayes, PhD, APRN, BC, School of Nursing, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA.
Learning Objective #1: discuss end of life issues
Learning Objective #2: discuss the impact of education on EOL skill set

Objective: To measure changes in the perception of the end of life care competencies and educational needs of nurses after an EOL Educational Program.

Design: Quasi-experimental with the ELNEC program as the intervention. 

Population: Registered nurses at 2 different conferences participated. Intervention group included 26 at the pre-test, 15 at post-test. Control group included 34. Both groups, 100% women, were similar except for employment. The research group was predominately nurses working in long-tem care facilities.

Concepts Studied: General Systems Theory provided theoretical foundation.

Methods: This study replicated an earlier reported study.  Nurses completed a demographic sheet and a survey where they ranked 12 competencies for their importance and competency level. EOL program participants completed surveys prior to and immediately after the program. A control group of nurses completed the same surveys at the same month. 

Findings: At the pre-test there was no difference between the 2 groups. The research group rated talking to patients as the most important skill to learn but the control group rated pain control as most important. The research group thought that they were most competent in comfort care, a second choice for the control group. The control group ranked “dealing with own feelings about dying” as their most competent skill.  After the conference the research group rated 5 competencies significantly different from the control group: pain control techniques, comfort care, palliative treatments, dealing with own feelings and the meaning of hospice (p<.05). The only “ important to learn” rating that differed between groups was legal issues in administering palliative therapies.

Conclusions: This program did cause nurses to develop new attitudes regarding competency ratings and the importance of specific skills.

Implications: Administrators and educators should support EOL programs to effect changes in attitudes regarding EOL issues. Future studies should include interviews with ranking scales.