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New recruits lack basic skills says trust nursing director


I think that there are many factors that need to be considered in the area of care planning. In reality many settings ultilise core care plans that are adapted to suit individuals and while these are meant to make care planning easier for staff nurses, often staff do not complete these as they are considered to be of lesser importance than direct patient care. Of course for students core care plans are not ideal as an educational tool as they are more suited to staff who are well able to adapt them. Its not a matter of blame but I do agree that some staff do not complete care plans appropriately citing lack of time as the reason! Students and staff often confuse nursing process with care planning and are unable to distinguish what exactly they should be doing. When I was a student we had to hand write individual plans of care for selected individuals, based on assessment of needs, identification of problems, plan of care and evaluation of same. As we did these on every placement and had to consider the rationale for care given we soon became familiar with nursing care management of various patients. As a nurse educator who works in the clinical setting I continue to prompt students to think this way enabling them to become knowledgable doers who can effectively plan care based on the best available evidence/research. It's not about being hightech or overly educated its about being practical in your approach to caring and taking pride in knowing how and why you are doing it. Many experienced nurses do essentially plan care but may not have the best resources to document same. It is my experience that both staff and students need assistance in this area. We regularly hold education sessions that remind staff of the importance of care planning from a legal perspective as well as from a caring approach and we are now planning update sessions for staff in the area of care planning so that they feel supported in their practice. As a teaching hospital we have a responsibilty to our students but overall we have a responsibility to our patients to effectively plan care based on their needs that will ensure that they receive the appropriate care required. Managers need to ensure that if staff require support or education then this must be facilitated.

Posted date

2 December, 2009

Posted time

8:51 am