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New nurse educator role enhances patient experience

05 January 2022

A new project is underway to provide enhanced on-the-job training to staff on Ward 10 in Withybush Hospital, which has been made possible thanks to charitable donations as part of the recent Ward 10 refurbishment scheme.

The multi-million-pound refurbishment of Ward 10 benefited from more than £500,000 of charitable donations from the health board’s Pembrokeshire Cancer Services Fund and Elly’s Ward 10 Flag Appeal, together with significant donations from the late Luke Harding and his family.

In a first for Hywel Dda University Health Board, staff on the newly-refurbished ward are receiving work-based training to help them meet the needs of oncology, haematology and palliative care patients.

Karen Phillips, an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist at Hywel Dda University Health Board with 30 years of oncology nursing experience, has been seconded into the part-time position of Clinical Nurse Educator to deliver the EMPOWERED Oncology Education Programme as part of a 12-month pilot project.

The ward-based training, which began in July 2021, is focusing on a wide range of topics such as treatments, side effects, emergencies, the psychological impact of cancer, managing difficult conversations and diet and exercise for patients.

Karen said the project was based around empowering the 40-strong team at Ward 10, which includes nurses, students and healthcare workers.

She added: “Delivering the training on the ward means that it is flexible, inclusive and we can work around staffing constraints.

“There has been really good feedback from the nurses after the first few interactive training sessions. This is workplace learning in real-life scenarios.

“It is not always practical to release nurses away from the ward for training. The project is addressing their educational needs in the most flexible way possible, bearing in mind the clinical needs on the ward.

“The nurses are excited to be part of this training. The ward 10 refurbishment has been the perfect opportunity to revisit the needs of this patient group and to ensure that the nursing team are equipped, day and night, to meet those needs.”

Lindsey Clark, Senior Sister on Ward 10, said: “The education programme is beneficial for all staff members including healthcare assistants, student nurses, registered nurses and also the medical team on Ward 10.

“Karen has worked extremely hard to provide the teaching sessions during a very challenging time with the daily demands we face.  Staff who have undertaken some of the modules have grown in confidence; they feel the programme is helping to develop their knowledge and enables them to deliver an improved experience for our patients.”

Andrew Burns, Withybush Hospital Director and Consultant Surgeon, said: “We are pleased to be seeing this innovation at Withybush Hospital to improve the experience for our patients. A big thank you to our supporters for enabling the project to take place.”

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