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Health professionals learning to ALWAYS care for patients

During the summer break, semester two and four students from the bachelor of nursing at The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle Campus, worked with the Fremantle Hospital and Health Service Accreditation Team to develop educational material for staff and visitors on the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS), especially Standard 2.

This collaborative approach to provide a unique clinical placement, that intrinsically benefits the student and health service, reminds us that learning in today’s modern healthcare system should embrace areas of practice outside of the traditional clinical nursing role.

Students, in groups of four and five, developed nine posters for an information booth in the health service.  Students spoke with staff, patients and visitors about their work and the hospital’s focus on Person Centred Care through ALWAYS, a respect-based process that stands for:

  • Address patients by their preferred name
  • Listen and learn from your patient
  • Welcome and respect the roles of carers and families
  • Advocate for patient, carer and family involvement in decision making
  • Yourself: introduce yourself, your role and wear your name badge
  • Show compassion and respect

Group 8-page-001

Students toured around the hospital so that all those onsite had the opportunity to view their work and vote for the ‘best poster’.  The winning group, announced at the executive launch of the project, will have their poster submitted to a nursing conference to be held in Perth in 2016.

The project involved students developing posters that translated the concept of Person Centred Care and ALWAYS to the Fremantle Hospital context.  Posters provided stories of past patient experiences, tips and hints for how to incorporate the models into practice, and descriptions of the National Standards.

The Community Advisory Council and Health Service Executive of Fremantle Hospital in 2015 endorsed the ‘ALWAYS’ approach as a tool to promote Person Centred Care.  Developed by the Picker Institute, ALWAYS Events are those aspects of the patient and family experience that should always occur when patients interact with healthcare professionals and the delivery system.

Fremantle Hospitals implementation of ALWAYS encourages staff to consider the patient and family at the centre of all their interactions.

Fremantle Hospital and Health Service and the School of Nursing and Midwifery collaborative approach to promoting NSQHS has highlighted the potential student placement opportunities yet to be fully considered.  Due to the success of the placement, future opportunities to work in collaboration are being explored that benefit both the health service and student learning of these often difficult concepts taught in the classroom  and their impact at the health service level.

Two more of the posters:

Group 6-page-001 Group 4-page-001

Dr Kylie Russell is postgraduate co-ordinator, School of Nursing and Midwifery, at the University of Notre Dame (Fremantle).

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