As you probably know from my previous blog, my Term 3 Practical Nursing clinical experience was at a home care facility working with dementia patients. During this placement, I took part in a campaign called Change Day, which was organized by the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council (BCPSQC). The focus of this campaign is to raise awareness about improving patient safety and the quality of care.
About Change Day
The goal of Change Day is to better understand the experience of residents. The BCPSQC originally launched this campaign in October 2015 where health care professionals were asked to make pledges to improve the quality of care for patients. To support this, the staff at Delta View wore incontinence products for their shift to get a true sense of what the residents go through and experience the challenges they face day to day.
In just a few short hours, some of the major struggles that patients face on a daily basis came to light. Even though some of the learnings seem rather obvious, living in their shoes allows us to truly understand why it’s critical to meet the residents’ needs promptly and how uncomfortable it can be when they’re not met. As a group, this exercise heightened the awareness for signs and symptoms of discomfort such as noises, facial expressions, or sweating – especially for those who can’t verbalize their needs.
For this year’s Change Day 2017, the BCPSQC came up with a similar idea, which I think was brilliant. A staff member would sit through a shower given by the care aides and tolerate the experience without complaining, as some of the residents do as they can’t communicate with staff. I think this idea would really make a statement about what to consider about how the person is feeling, despite them not being able to communicate their discomfort in words. I cannot emphasis enough the importance of paying attention to facial cues and responses made by the patients.
As a nursing student, I’ve learned that the more attentive you are to your patients, the better care you will be able to provide for them. As my instructors have mentioned since the start of the program, it is better to prevent any illness, discomfort measures and complications rather than dealing with the negative outcomes. By doing so, the patient is in a more comfortable state, and there is less work for health care providers to get the patients back to a healthy state.
Unfortunately, I was unable to take part in this year’s pledge due to my practicum dates. However, I did participate in their follow-up project where a film crew documented the pledges made by staff and volunteers to get the message across to other health care providers. I was involved with an awareness video, where myself and other staff members held up signs with positive messages to encourage change and awareness.
I would have liked to see the pledge in action this year but I still leave my practicum with a wealth of knowledge and carry a better understanding of how patients should be treated. I am able to take that knowledge and bring it with me to my next practicum experience. For now, I continue my journey back to the classroom and prepare for Term 4. Stay tuned for what to expect in my next post!
If you’re interested in learning about the career of a Practical Nurse, attend our information session and have all your questions answered by professionals. Click here to see upcoming events.