Providing excellent nursing care to African children

0


While the past 18 months have been incredibly difficult for healthcare professionals, the University of Cape Town (UCT) Harry Crossley Nursing Development Unit (CNDU), in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, has continuously found ways to strengthen nursing care for children.

Earlier this year, the CNDU hosted the #NursesCount – Building Children’s Nursing for Africa 2021 virtual conference. Soon after, towards the end of August, the CNDU team launched the first African-wide book club for nurses for children *.

In both cases, the team focused on identifying what matters in excellent nursing care for our continent’s children and their families, focusing on that goal to provide the support needed to help pediatric nurses. across Africa to achieve the highest level of care. .

Natasha North, senior research officer at CNDU, said initiatives such as the #NursesCount conference and the book club are essential to provide continuing education and knowledge exchange opportunities that help improve patient care. patients. This is especially true in the context of pediatric health care in Africa.

“Outcomes for children are greatly improved when they receive care from a specialized pediatric care team, which includes specialized nurses for children. “

“Children are not just ‘little adults’; their physiological responses to illness and injury can be very different from that of an adult, and their emotional and developmental needs are also very specific, ”she explained.

“Outcomes for children are greatly improved when they receive care from a specialized pediatric care team, which includes specialized nurses for children. “

With Africa home to the world’s youngest population – and nearly a billion children – added North, it is imperative that we develop the nursing workforce in Africa, for Africa.

“Nurses constitute the majority of the professional health workforce in Africa. In many settings, nurses will be the only healthcare professionals who see and treat patients. Yet specialist nurses for children represent barely one percent of the nursing workforce on our continent, ”she said.

Align learning with the local context

Understanding the need for well-trained and well-supported nurses to provide first-rate pediatric care, CNDU emphasizes research and learning aimed at describing and celebrating the nursing practices of children in Africa.

Events such as conferences and book clubs – which give healthcare professionals the opportunity to come together to review and discuss published articles in a given field or area of ​​work – are essential in this regard.

With a focus on African nursing data at this year’s #NursesCount conference, the CNDU recognized its mission to align nurses’ learning with the local context.

“Nurses collect and store a huge amount of data, but often they don’t realize the full value. “

“Data is the foundation for evidence-based decision making. Nurses collect and store a huge amount of data, but often they don’t realize its full value. Sometimes they may feel that the information they collect is only useful for other healthcare professionals because they don’t always see the end product of their work, ”explained North.

“The value of this data can be revealed when nurses begin to recognize the relevance of the knowledge they generate. The major challenge here is to help nurses develop the skills that allow them to define a questionable answerable question about their practice, and to begin to find and interpret the data to answer that question. This is ultimately what will make health care safer and better. “

CNDU’s efforts to emphasize the importance of data capture, analysis and proliferation are bolstered by initiatives such as the Book Club, North noted.

“Journal clubs give nurses the opportunity to come together, review and discuss published articles.

“Journal clubs give nurses the opportunity to come together, review and discuss published articles in a given field or area of ​​work. Studies show that book clubs help to become familiar with research terms and processes, integrate scientific reading and professional updating habits, and support evidence-based practice. These observations echo the experience of the CNDU team.

“Our evaluation of a large-scale book club we developed with the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital found that the participation of different categories of nurses – including practical nurses, registered nurses and specialist nurses for children – opens up valuable new conversations about team practice, and ensures bedside nurses are involved in evidence-informed health care.

Learning opportunities abound

While the facilitation of these learning and training efforts by bodies such as the CNDU is always helpful in describing and celebrating the excellent nursing practices of African children, they are especially important in the context of COVID-19.

While the pandemic has presented challenges, it has also created greater opportunities for learning and increasing the reach of conferences and intellectual exchanges on the continent.

“The pandemic has had a serious impact on pediatric services in South Africa and across the continent. Teams have done an incredible job keeping essential services running, but some pediatric services and services have been cut back and pediatric nurses have been transferred to other urgent tasks in adult care, ”North said.

“It also means that many training and professional development opportunities have been put on hold. But the pandemic has also forced the CNDU team to accelerate our planned transition to a blended and online learning offer. It’s really encouraging to see that this is how we can provide truly meaningful and engaging learning opportunities for many more pediatric nurses.

* If you are a children’s nurse and would like to start a book club in your hospital or health facility, please contact [email protected]. Membership is free, thanks to the generosity of the Burdett Nursing Trust.




Share.

Comments are closed.