Part 1: Evaluation Plan
Methods of Evaluating the Proposed Solution
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of this proposed training cycle, it is important to remember that the aim of the program is to increase the number of nurses who can administer oral care with the goal of preventing VAP infections in critical care patients undergoing mechanical ventilation. As such, there are a number of effective ways how the proposed solution can be evaluated.
Administering a self-survey on the competence of nurses who have undergone the proposed training cycle all the way to becoming experts is one of the methods that would be efficient in this case. This will mean allowing these nurses to take on a self-assessment in order to establish the level of knowledge that they have acquired from the training program. An increase in their practical knowledge on oral care using CHX in critical care patients will imply positive outcome for the proposed solution. This will then mean that the program has been helpful to the nurses by increasing their knowledge through practice and guidance.
Measuring the improvement of the organization in terms of the number of VAP infections after the training program is implemented. The main goal of this program is to ensure that more nurses can provide effective oral care to prevent VAP infections amongst the critical care patients. This means that the organization is mainly interested in lowering their VAP infections significantly once the program is implemented. As such, one of the ways of establishing effectiveness of this proposed solution is by looking at the rate of VAP infection in the facility’s critical care setting.
Surveying the senior nurses in terms of how much work they have been doing since the program was initiated. It can be appreciated that expert nurses were initially in charge of all of the organization’s oral care strategies in the critical care settings, and when they could not take on, the patients would have a higher risk of catching a VAP infection. This means that most of VAP infections were registered amongst patients who could not get services of experts for one reason or another. This means that expert nurses would then have to overwork in order to prevent VAP infections within the facility. It can thus be expected that after the training cycle was initiated, the expert nurses would only have to train one cycle of nurses before being replaced as experts and thus not having to do all the oral care work. If they still have to work as much as they used to then the program is not as effective as it should be.
There are a number of significant variables that would work for evaluation of this program. The first variable is the number of nurses who can carry out an effective oral care plan for critical care patients. Before the training cycle, there is only a handful of expert nurses who have both the theoretical knowledge and practical experience or conduct an oral care using CHX in the prevention of VAP infections for mechanically ventilated patients. The training, however, is meant to increase these numbers significantly and ensure that all the nurses within the organization receive the necessary exposure to become experts as well in oral care (Walsh, 2010).
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Another variable would be the number of oral care exercises that the expert nurses have to conduct. The hospital’s capacity is not increasing and thus the number of beds in the critical care section is still the same. As such, an increase in the number of nurses who can implement an oral care plan implies a decrease in the number of oral care plans that one nurse would have to take care of. By measuring and comparing these numbers, it can be expected that the hospital will be able to establish whether the program is effective or not.
The third relevant variable in this case is the number of VAP infections registered in the facility. Initially, most of the VAP cases would be attributed to the practice of novice nurses who had no experience in administering oral care effectively for mechanically ventilated patients. Their inability to use CHX effectively was seen as a significant cause for the high number of VAP infections in the facility. Once the program is implemented, it is expected that most of these nurses will become experts having acquired impressive experience under the tutelage of expert nurses. This would imply that each nurse within the facility will be having the knowledge and expertise to carry out effective oral care thus more significantly preventing VAP infections. A reduced number of VAP infections in the facility’s critical care setting would thus amount to a positive outcome as far as the proposed solution is concerned.
Tools for Educating Project Participants
This project will require the participation of all the nurses in the organization’s critical care settings. This is relatively large group of people, and it may be difficult to get to each one of them individually for briefing on the requirements of the project. It thus follows that rather than the conventional dialogue, the project will use placards explaining importance of the project. There will not be much to teach the participants since all they need to know is that they should form groups and work under expert nurses until they are good enough to be called experts, upon which they will also take on a group of novices. They thus just need to know how the cycle will work and which expert nurses would be available to teach them. The placards will thus contain the names of expert nurses, and the novice nurses will be expected to sign up their names under whichever expert nurse they prefer.
Tools for Evaluating Project Outcomes
The Survey for the nurses’ competence
- What do you know about CHX?
- Can you conduct an oral care for a patient under mechanical ventilation by yourself?
- How many patients have you attended to in terms of oral care for prevention of VAP so far?
- Were the outcomes positive in terms of preventing infections?
Survey for the amount of work done by expert nurses
- How many patients are you conducting oral care for at the moment?
- Is this number higher or lower than what you were handling previously?
- Would you trust the younger nurses with your patients in terms of oral care for prevention of VAP infections?
Having established that the project is already successful from the evaluation stage, it will be a good idea to share the proposed solution with the greater nursing community. Despite its simplicity, the training program will be able to save countless lives if implemented correctly in critical care settings across the world (Fineout-Overholt & Johnston, 2007). By increasing the number of qualified and experienced nurses to administer oral care to patients under mechanical ventilation as a way of preventing VAP infections, hospitals will be able to save patients from developing complications in their health while undergoing mechanical ventilation.
The first option of disseminating these results would be through the board of the hospital where the project worked. This board may have known about the project right from the beginning and thus it would be in a position to vouch for it once the results show positive outcomes. Once the board is fully aware of the project’s success, the journal of nursing will be the second target. It is important to note that most of the relevant stakeholders in this case are people who would be interested in the development of nursing practice and thus they subscribe to the journal of nursing along with other medical publications. It would thus be important to also be in other journals that are relevant to the medical field, like the Journal of Medicine and AACN publications among others. Most of nursing associations have websites, and it would also be a great idea to have the results of the project published in these websites.
Generally, the goal is to have the project published or written about in as many medical sites as possible. Also, in order to reach an even wider audience, the project can be published in college and university papers and websites. The criteria here would be to publish the project anywhere where nursing is studied, practiced, or discussed since nurses are likely to pay attention to these areas. It can be appreciated here that getting significance of this information out to the right stakeholders will make a lot of difference.