Title : Acquiring critical care experience in a clinical rotation through a dedicated education unit (DEU) model
At Saint Mary’s College a dedicated education unit (DEU) clinical model has been adopted for students in the advanced medical-surgical course offered in the senior year. The premise of this model is that students work directly with assigned staff nurses who act as preceptors for the student during the clinical experience. The student receives one-on-one teaching from the staff nurse preceptor for the nurse’s assigned patients. The academic faculty are responsible for overseeing the model, providing mentorship for the staff nurse preceptor, and monitoring and evaluating the student’s clinical performance. The DEU has been used as a means of clinical instruction by many nursing programs typically on a medical-surgical unit. However, many nursing curricula do not include a critical care clinical rotation and many critical care units do not hire new graduates. In collaboration with the local hospital, we have able to place students in the intensive care unit in the DEU model. This is important because the content for the course which the students take during this clinical rotation includes renal failure, pancreatitis, liver failure, burns, shock states, chest trauma and neurological conditions such as traumatic brain injuries, cerebral anueryms and spinal cord injuries. Paired with the staff nurse preceptor, students gain valuable experience in caring for the critically ill patient that parallels content taught in lecture. This experience includes patients on mechanical ventilators and receiving sedation, on multiple vasoactive infusions, external ventriculostomy drains, on CCRT, and spinal cord injuries. Evaluations from the students have been extremely positive and students are grateful for the opportunity to work in the ICU. The results of the evaluations of the DEU from both students and staff nurse preceptors will be shared. This partnership with the hospital is also a valuable recruitment tool for new staff in the ICU. Even if the student chooses not to work in critical care after graduation, the experience will greatly benefit them in any clinical unit after graduation. The goal is to continue to place students in the ICU utilizing the DEU model.
Audience Take Away:
From this presentation, the nursing faculty will learn about the dedicated education unit model and how it can be an effective strategy to utilize for clinical rotations. Additionally, there will be information on developing the partnership with the director of the intensive care unit in order to provide this experience. Participants will develop an understanding on how to begin to explore this clinical model, develop a partnership with the health care institution, recruit staff members, train staff nurses on the model and then initiate the model.