I am very delighted to read this article on Nurse training needs 'urgent reform'.
My career background is in Adult Nursing and I practiced as a Nurse for 3 and half years, and I did my Masters in Public Health & health Promotion. One of the reasons I went to do the Public Health & health Promotion course is because I identify that as a Nurse, we lack the experience of using an intervention like motivational interviewing (MI) to communicate with patients. During my research for my dissertation, which was about intermediate care nurses perception and understanding of health promotion and their health promotion role as a nurse, I identify some gap in nursing which make me concluded that Nurse training definitely needs to be reform.
It is a fact that there is shortage of staff and Nurses are unable to spend enough time with patients. But if they have enough staff and time to spend with patients, how will they spend it? What skill will they use to carry out basic health promotion intervention?
I have two scenarios as example,
1. How do Nurses see and communicate with diabetic patient that always ask for more sugar for his/her tea or like to eat sweets and chocolates? Do they carry out any intervention with this type of patient?
2. What do nurse do for an elderly patient in hospital due to fall and needs to go back to his/her home after treatment? Do nurses look at the causes of the falls? Is the falls caused by getting confused due to infection? Or the infection caused by lack of drinking enough water? Or why is the patient not drinking enough water in the first place?
Research has shown the effectiveness of MI with patient and healthcare professionals to understand patients’ health behaviour, but how can Nurses know that, if is not part of their training. I have looked into many university curriculums, it is sad not to find any university doing MI and Health Behaviour as a whole course unit. Some university do it as a day lecture. But is part of the postgraduate courses for community public health nurse.
I think all registered nurses should have a better knowledge of patients’ health behaviour and have better skills of how to communicate and empower their patients by using intervention like MI.