Title : An innovative intervention
The role of the non-nursing, health care assistant developed primarily to support the professional nurse and to undertake perceived non-nursing duties under the direction and supervision of registered nurses. While they represent a substantial proportion of the health care workforce, and often are the first responders in providing direct patient care, the growth of their role has taken place without proper preparation, or systematic education and training. Many nursing assistants come from lower socio economic status, lacking formal education. This has raised serious concerns, especially with regard to the issues of patient safety and quality of care. This paper presents an innovative intervention utilizing simulation to train health care assistants, providing them with tools to deal with the challenging situations they encounter in delivering direct patient care. During 2018, data was collected through focused groups with nursing assistants in addition to questionnaires that were filled by nurses and nursing assistants. The results demonstrated lack of communication between the nurses and the assistants. 100nursing assistants from the medical - surgical words of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, participated in simulations that were created by nurses. Prior to attending the simulation center (MSR), social workers met with the nursing assistants in small groups allowing them to speak their emotions through cards and guided imagery. Each nursing assistant experienced a real life situation such as a difficult family member, a patient in isolation who suffered from dementia. At the end of each session, the actor reflected to each nursing assistant how he or she had felt. Each training day concluded with a discussion presenting tools for the nursing assistants. The closing questionnaires demonstrate a high level of satisfaction with the program. The next planned step is to distribute questionnaires to the nursing assistants and the nurses asking specific questions about quality of care through the nursing assistants’ tasks that they perform. The policy will be to provide twice a year a simulation based training refresher course in order to fully implement a culture of quality and safety amongst nursing assistants.