NSQHS: Do you ever feel like you’re in a hamster wheel, running but never reaching your destination?

Mar 16
Author:Nick May
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Nick May is an experienced Nurse Educator based at Royal Perth Hospital in WA.

Like many, I periodically get frustrated when, faced with the latest problem, I am directed to “Go and educate everyone about XXX”.

When it comes to complex problems – like preventing hospital-acquired blood-stream infections – is education just a convenient box that, when ticked, offers senior management a reassuring warm glow of activity, but in reality it doesn’t actually make anyone safer or reduce the incidence of infections?

Are we guilty of creating performance indicators around the number of staff trained rather than the number of lives saved? In my presentation at the Improving performance against the NSQHS standards conference, I will attempt to do something a little silly for an Educator – to draw attention to the distinct possibility that education doesn’t work. Really? This is madness. Isn’t it? Surely I will be out of a job?

Being something of a storyteller and keen observer of human behaviour, I will attempt to explore the uncharted territory of why education often doesn’t work and why embracing root cause analysis thinking is arguably the only way to re-focus education resources onto educating about the things that matter – how to use innovation to influence human behaviour and lead us, step by step, towards safer patient care.

I will aim to illustrate my ideas with anecdotes and observations on the way we traditionally structure our thinking and will draw examples from my latest project which is (in my mind at least) a dead certainty to make me famous. Do I have the magic bullet and all of the answers? Almost certainly not. Will what I say make you think? I hope so. Is it worth a try? I guess you’ll have to come along, listen and decide for yourself.

Nick will be speaking on ‘Exploring potential root causes of hospital-acquired blood stream infections’ at the Improving performance against the NSQHS standards conference. Book your place by April 1st to save $300.

NSQHS Conference

Submitted by Nick May

Nick May

Nick May is Staff Development Educator, Professional Development at
Royal Perth Hospital.

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