Patient Care Champions: A Model for Acute Care Hospital Staff Education

Wednesday, 14 July 2010: 9:10 AM

Vanessa Ann Irwin, RN, MSN
Department of Education, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, Salinas, CA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe the Patient Care Champion education process from the beginning, topic selection, to end, the audit follow up.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to discuss the effectiveness of the Patient Care Champions as rated and ranked by staff nurses at one organization.

  1. Describe the Patient Care Champion (PCC) teaching model.
  2. Evaluate the staff nurses’ perception of the effectiveness of the PCC teaching method at SVMHS.
Methods: The PCC study is the designed evaluation of a cohort of fourteen staff nurses trained and released from direct patient care responsibilities to provide one-on-one and small group teaching. The original PCC staff nurses were selected for the assignment because of their clinical expertise, credibility and patient/ staff advocacy. The PCC teaching methodology was implemented in an acute care hospital for a period of eight months before the study was conducted. A survey was developed by the researcher and the content validated by clinical education experts at a community hospital. The survey was distributed to a purposive sampling of one hundred ninety eight registered staff nurses and Assistant Head Nurses (AHN) within one community hospital.
Results: Preliminary findings suggest that staff found the PCC teaching methodology to be effective. Staff were asked to rate the PCC teaching methodology independent of the other methodologies and then rank it compared to the other four methodologies and in both cases the rate means and ranking means correspond closely for each of the methodologies.  This can be attributable to staff having a clear opinion regarding what teaching methodologies they find most effective. 
Conclusion: These pilot results demonstrate the nurses’ initial evaluation of the PCC program as effective and support the continuation of the PCC teaching method. The PCC project has a multitude of implications for the organization that are based in providing effective education to staff. The PCC’s contribute to patient safety, play a supportive part in rolling out initiatives, educating to new or changes in policies and updating staff on changes in practice.