A special project designed to enhance the ability of the registered nurse inservice educator in the nursing home was recently implemented at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Cosponsored by the Geriatric Education Center and the Florida Association of Directors of Nursing Administration/Long-Term Care (FADONA), the project was developed and coordinated by Dr. Melody J. Marshall and Dr. Mary Anne Hilker.
Especially planned to develop, implement and evaluate staff development programs for the certified nursing assistant (CNA), the first project was limited to 20 registered nurses who provide in-service education for CNAs in nursing homes. Attention was focused on the 1987 OBRA requirements, as well as other areas important to the provision of quality care by the CNA.
The training program consisted of three phases and participants were expected to complete all three. The registration fee and housing arrangements were the responsibility of the individual and/or the employing facility. However, 43 hours of Continuing Education Contact Hours were a tremendous inducement to participate.
Phase I consisted of a three-day training program on the campus that included an authence participation demonstration of "Into Aging: Experiencing the Life of the Nursing Home Resident" conducted at the Veterans Administration Nursing Home by Dr. Judy deMontmollin. Special sessions were presented on the Inservice Educator as a Role Model and Mentor for Staff, Evaluating Effectively, and Interactive Video Disk Training. Clinically oriented programs included Restraint Reduction, Care of AIDS Residents, and Handling the Stress of Cultural Differences.
A wealth of material was provided for each person attending the session. Lists of resources, a media fair, book display and consulting services were all made available.
The interaction among the participants was open and honest. The setting provided a nonthreatening forum in which the various challenges faced daily by long-term care staff could be discussed freely. Also, ideas, suggestions, and experiences were shared openly. This was a welcome situation and the flow of information being exchanged was sometimes difficult to curb.
Before the end of the session, each nurse selected an educational project for CNAs to be implemented and evaluated in the work setting during the next three to four months. It was expected that at least 10 hours would be devoted to the supervised interim project and a written report on the process and outcome would be prepared.
During Phase II, a consultation visit by a project director was made to each trainer's facility and on occasion a special inservice program was conducted at that time.
During Phase II, the nurse educators returned to the University for a one-day follow-up session, bringing projects, sharing experiences in implementation, and providing additional content. The presentations were varied and interesting and the methodologies evidenced much creativity. Skin Tears, Survey of Staff Terminations, Developing CNA Level 2, The Teaching CNA, QA after PT/OT and Enhancing Leadership Skills were some of the subjects addressed.
Each of the participants found the project involved more hours than were initially anticipated. Somehow each project, like Jack's Beanstalk, just grew and grew. Enthusiasm was high and appreciation for the project was expressed many times. Each person felt the experience had been enriching, informative, and worth the time, effort, and funds expended.
Hats off to the University of Florida's Geriatric Education Center and FADONA.