Failure to properly test dialysate prior to hemodialysis treatments is a common deficiency found among outpatient dialysis facilities.
This project aims to incorporate proper dialysate testing practices and improve dialysate testing knowledge through education with Skinner’s Theory of Operant Conditioning as the framework.
A review of recent literature revealed limited published research on dialysis education or the application of Skinner’s Theory to dialysis or nursing education.
Training sessions incorporating both didactic lecture with PowerPoint presentation and hands-on clinical practice were implemented at an outpatient dialysis center using a review assessment and skills observation form. Incorrect skills and answers were remediated while correct practices and accurate answers were rewarded in accordance with Skinner’s concept of reward. Assessment scores prior to training sessions were contrasted to scores at the completion of training.
Five out of seven employees improved in their knowledge of proper dialysate testing practices as evidenced by improvements in their assessment scores. At the conclusion of the training sessions, all seven employees were able to demonstrate proper dialysate testing skills when observed.
The results of this project can be used to improve dialysis providers’ current dialysate testing curriculums. Skinner’s Theory of Operant Conditioning could be further applied to other nursing specialties and healthcare education.
Skinner, theory, hemodialysis, nursing, education, testing