Student nurses showcase their ideas for service improvement
Student nurses’ ideas for improving patient services were showcased by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and the University of East Anglia (UEA) at a special event last week – the first of its kind.
The students drew on their experiences on placements to develop evidence-based ideas for their final module and 41 were presented in poster format at the event.
“As they enter our profession, student nurses offer a fresh perspective on how we can improve the experience of patients in our care,” said NNUH’s Chief Nurse Prof Nancy Fontaine. “We want to encourage them to drive improvement throughout their careers and I hope that this event has inspired them to do so.
“I was hugely impressed by the quality and variety of their ideas and all have the potential to benefit many patients in the future.”
The overall winner of the Chief Nurse Award for Student Nurse Innovation in Service Improvement went to Lydia Robinson for her suggestion of creating a Communication Passport to improve the transition between child and adult services.
“I was completely shocked to win,” said Lydia, who is going on to work for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT). “I saw from my placement that transferring from child to adult mental health services could be very traumatic, and felt that a passport would help make the transition easier.”
“We all felt this idea had incredible potential, and could be adapted to promote safety and effectiveness in a variety of care situations,” said Prof Fontaine. “We love that it lends itself to empowering patients by providing them with a record of their care need and could see it greatly benefitting the care experiences of many.”
Runners-up were Edwina Gold for her idea of establishing a clinic to help pre-diabetic obese patients improve their health, and Amanda Belsham, who suggested introducing a study day to raise awareness of transgender patient issues among Emergency Department staff.
“It is evident that Edwina and Amanda have worked hard to develop their innovations, which address important and current healthcare issues,” said Prof Fontaine. “We were impressed with their imaginative designs and brilliant concepts.”
“It was an amazing day of sharing ideas and discussion,” said Coral Drane, Lecturer in Adult Nursing at UEA. “We are so proud of our final year student nurses, both in terms of the quality of their service improvement posters and their professionalism.”
The event was attended by NNUH staff, who were also impressed by what they saw. “I was very interested to see all the ideas,” said Abi Kirkaldy, Safer Staffing Lead. “It’s 12 years since I was a student nurse and I know how important it is to encourage a focus on service improvement, innovation and quality from the earliest stages in our careers. The originality, range and quality of ideas was incredible.”