In the ever-evolving field of healthcare, continuous professional development (CPD) is not just a choice but a necessity for all working in the field. Doctors, nurses and support staff must be aware that there are constantly new technologies and techniques emerging and that staying on top of these will enable them to provide better patient care.
This blog post will discuss the need to stay up to date with the latest research findings, what educational opportunities are available to qualified nurses and how they can access them.
Why is this important?
Keeping in line with the latest medical advancements and enhancing patient care, as a result, are two of the key reasons why hospitals and other healthcare environments encourage their nurses to undertake additional courses and consume the latest research. However, adapting to new regulatory requirements is also a key reason for doing this. Those working in the field must understand that healthcare is subject to stringent regulations and evolving standards of practice. They must work in compliance with these to reassure patients and members of the community that they can trust the care they receive and to reduce the risk of legal dilemmas.
Additionally, the latest research and developments do not always relate to medical advancements specifically. Occasionally, these findings will be focussed on patient mentality, communication, conflict resolution among staff, productivity techniques and creative problem-solving. When healthcare professionals brush up on these skills, they can improve how they operate in the workplace and deal with challenges in a more innovative manner.
Finally, nurses and healthcare professionals who wish to advance in their careers can improve their ability to do so by completing extra training programmes and demonstrating growth. Attending seminars, reading research and partaking in courses will serve as investments in their careers.
What educational opportunities to consider
There are plenty of CPD courses for nurses, clinical nurse specialists and nurse unit managersout there, from public training which is open to anyone who wants to attend, to customised workshops that will help you to upskill in niche areas. Many providers in Australia will offer options in both of these areas and they can generally be accessed either on-site or online, depending on what suits you.
Some of the most popular CPD courses for nurses and doctors include root cause analysis, the introduction to human factors and quality improvement tools.
Root cause analysis (RCA)
RCA in healthcare is a systematic and comprehensive process that’s used to investigate the underlying causes of adverse events, errors or near misses that could impact patient safety. It is vital for improving the quality of care in the setting as it works on the root cause of the issue instead of the symptoms.
Conducting an RCA includes several steps such as defining the problem and putting together a detailed description of it. Then comes data collection which includes compiling medical records, incident reports and witness statements. Identifying any contributing factors is also important and categorising them into groups, before determining the root causes and then developing an action plan, which may include recommendations for policy changes or other interventions.
Finally, staff should implement this plan and monitor its effectiveness over time; regular follow-ups and assessments are essential here to ensure that improvements are sustained.
Introduction to human factors
This course helps nurses develop an awareness of how to mitigate human factors which could contribute to human errors and patient hazards during care. Basic principles and a variety of human factors tools are usually discussed during this course which is interactive with demonstrations.
This course can build on the root cause analysis training as the instructors can teach the students methods for identifying design flaws, evaluating health information technologies, designing less error-prone care processes and improving the quality of RCAs when they’re carried out.
Quality improvement courses
There are different options when it comes to quality improvement training and nurses can opt for shorter versions that focus on equipping participants with the ability to improve the safety of care in their organisation. However, there are also more comprehensive training programmes available which offer insights on the theory of profound knowledge and insights on how quality improvement training can be rolled out in a healthcare setting.
Courses such as these among many others are often offered by healthcare educational platforms in Australia. As outlined above, there are multiple reasons why keeping abreast of the latest developments in the field is extremely important and accessing these workshops is not difficult given that many are delivered in an e-learning format. While the costs do vary, some of them can be accessed at a discounted rate, or for free if you’re a member of the platform. So, if you’re a healthcare professional looking to upskill, reach out to a provider and book in for some training.