Purpose for the Program
To develop an educational program for care of the surgical neonate.
A community hospital developed a new neonatal surgical education program utilizing an existing partnership with a tertiary center. This program provided valuable clinical experience and enhanced the didactic education learners received.
Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation
The existing partnership through the perinatal center allowed the leadership team, including managers and educators, to meet and explore the feasibility of this clinical program. The educators continued to collaborate to identify goals and objectives. Expectations, goals checklists, and evaluations were developed, and potential challenges were identified. The didactic program held at the community hospital was a foundation for the clinical experience, which was scheduled at the tertiary center. Experienced staff nurses from the community hospital were identified and paired with expert clinicians from the tertiary hospital who were eager to provide this clinical opportunity. A core team of staff received training in the most common types of neonatal operative cases anticipated. Participants were able to follow patients through preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care. Staff nurses, advanced practice nurses, and physicians all contributed to the learner's experience. Participant evaluations provided strong positive feedback in the areas of value of clinical experience, teaching methods, effectiveness of preceptors, and clinical key points. Enthusiasm for the experience also helped in the recruitment of additional participants. The evaluations provided feedback for educators and preceptors to adapt the training as needed. Additional outcomes of the education will continue to be assessed as the surgical cases present. The community hospital has not had a surgical case yet.
Implications for Nursing Practice
This program prepared participants with the didactic and clinical experience necessary to care for surgical neonate, however, this process could be adapted by other institutions for other aspects of care.