Exploration of the Effectiveness of an Educational Programme for Nurses on Nursing Care Documentation

Background: Nursing care documentation is an integral and important aspect of nursing practice. In Greek clinical settings, the nursing process is not practised, despite being proposed as a basis for documentation by many scientific and political organizations. A major barrier to its implementation is the inadequate educational preparation of nurses. Improvement in education constitutes a major factor in the improvement of knowledge, attitude and skills. Aim: Exploration of the effectiveness of an educational programme on documentation of nursing care for clinical nurses in nursing specialty programmes. Method: Prospective, comparative, quasi-experimental, pre- and post-test study. An educational programme on documentation was developed and implemented for nurses attending medical and surgical specialty training during the academic year 2008-2009. The programme duration was 18 hours, divided into six sections following the stages of nursing process (2-hour theory and 1-hour workshop). The competence of the participants was evaluated with a questionnaire developed for the purposes of the study, consisting of: (a) demographic and educational characteristics, (b) 22 items evaluating the attitude of the participants towards documentation according to nursing process, and (c) 16 closed knowledge questions. The questionnaire was administered at the beginning and the end of the educational programme. Parametric and non-parametric tests were applied for data analysis and the cut-off level for statistical significance was taken at p<0.05. Results: The study sample consisted of 110 registered nurses attending medical and surgical specialty training programmes in Athens and Thessaloniki. Most of the trainees were women (n=95, 88.8%), mean age 37.35±4.42 years, married (n=78, 70.9%) with two children (n=49, 44.55%). The time since their graduation was 14.07±4.96 years and their duration of professional experience was 13.89±4.73 years. After the training programme, nurses reported that their knowledge on how to apply the nursing process in the documentation of nursing care increased significantly [Z= -5.75, p(Wilcoxon)<0.001]. Improvement was demonstrated in the nurses’ answers on the knowledge questions (right or wrong and correspondence) [p(Wilcoxon)<0.001] and their attitudes towards nursing documentation [p(Wilcoxon)<0.001]. No demographic or educational feature was found to correlate with the overall improvement of knowledge or attitude. Conclusions: A significant effect was demonstrated of an educational programme on nursing documentation addressed at registered nurses. Such a programme with further evaluation and improvement could be the basis for continuing education, along with evaluation of its effectiveness in the therapeutic outcome of patients in nursing care in clinical practice.

Category: Volume 51, N 4
Hits: 1039 Hits
Created Date: 15-12-2012
Authors: Maria Chatzopoulou , Stylianos Katsaragakis , Chrysoula Karlou , Elisabeth Patiraki