New education model for real-world health care

 

Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing has started a new educational concept called the Dedicated Education Unit (DEU).

Launched by the School of Nursing and Emory Healthcare last fall, the DEU pairs a nursing student with a staff nurse for one-on-one clinical instruction in the medical-surgical unit at Emory University Hospital or Emory University Hospital Midtown.

Nursing senior Ivey Milton (left) checks on a patient’s medication, guided by Jackie Kandaya, her medical-surgical instructor at Emory University Hospital Midtown

A first at Emory and in Georgia, the DEU is based on the model implemented by the University of Portland School of Nursing and its clinical partners in the early 2000s.

Kelly Brewer, who holds a joint appointment with the School of Nursing and Emory Healthcare as DEU coordinator, says, “Our DEU initiative relies on these concepts and the skills of nurses and faculty to help students transition into the real world of nursing. It’s a win-win situation for both sets of professionals since faculty and clinical nurses are in short supply because of the nursing shortage.

“Both of our hospitals are committed to making students feel that they are part of the unit so they’ll want to work there after they graduate,” she adds. “They will already have a sense of what Emory’s health care system is about, and their transition into the real world of health care will be less stressful.”

The concept originated in Australia a few years earlier to address mounting dissatisfaction with how nursing students were clinically trained. The University of Portland adopted the concept to address a critical shortage of nurses, faculty, and clinical sites to support a rapidly growing number of students.

In 2007, members of a joint School of Nursing/Emory Healthcare task force attended a DEU symposium at Portland. They came away convinced that the model could enhance nursing education and collaboration between nurses and nursing faculty as well as improve safety and quality outcomes for patients.

When Emory rolled out the model last fall, 18 nursing seniors applied to work in the DEU for their medical-surgical rotation.

Before joining their units, students attended an orientation to learn about the nursing concepts central to Emory Healthcare—quality, safety, patient- and family-centered care, shared decision-making, and the synergy model of patient care, which matches patients’ needs with nurses’ competencies.

Read more about the DEU program in Emory Nursing magazine.

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