Development of a competency tool for adult trained nurses caring for people with intellectual disabilities

Authors

  • Alison E. While BSc, MSc, Phd, RN, RHV,

    Professor
    1. Community Nursing, Kings College London, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery, King's College, London, UK
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  • Louise L. Clark BA, MSc, SRN, RN (LD), PGCAP

    Lecturer, Corresponding author
    1. Mental Health & Intellectual Disability, Kings College London, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, London, UK
    • Correspondence

      Louise L. Clark

      Mental Health & Intellectual Disability

      Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery

      King's College London

      57 Waterloo Road

      London SE1 8WA

      UK

      E-mail:Louise.l.clark@kcl.ac.uk

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Abstract

Aim

To develop and test a competency assessment tool for adult trained nurses caring for people with intellectual disabilities in hospital.

Background

The report ‘Death by indifference’ in 2007 highlighted inadequate care given to people with intellectual disabilities in hospital. This study sought to develop and test a competency assessment tool for adult trained nurses in the care of this patient group.

Methods

A review of the literature informed the topic guide for focus groups (n = 4) with experienced adult trained nurses, learning disability nurses and people with intellectual disabilities (n = 25). Expert interviews (n = 29) were conducted to identify emergent themes. A draft competency assessment tool was reviewed by an expert panel (n = 5) and tested within a convenience sample (n = 34; response rate 28%) at a local district general hospital across several clinical specialities.

Results

The participants considered themselves to be either ‘novice’ or ‘competent’ across most items. The tool was then redrafted and minor amendments made. ‘Little or no knowledge’ or ‘novice’ was reported in areas such as consent, diagnostic overshadowing and management of self harm.

Conclusion

Use of the competency assessment tool will support assessment of current levels of knowledge and skills and inform educational provision of the workforce.

Implications for nursing management

Use of the competency assessment tool will inform nursing management of skill levels and educational need.

Ancillary