Abstract 90: Nursing Education: A Critical Need in the Delivery of High Quality Stroke Care
Objectives: High quality stroke care is complex, and requires strong multidisciplinary teams, including nurses, to ensure care processes are timely and appropriate. The purpose of this study was to identify training needs of nurses who deliver care to patients who present with acute stroke and are admitted to inpatient units.
Methodology: Using semi-structured interviews, we conducted a qualitative study for a formative evaluation in 12 Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) that had ≥ 50 acute ischemic stroke admissions a year and were diverse in the structure of stroke care. The interviews focused on current context and structure of stroke care, including educational practices and training needs. Secondary analyses were conducted, targeting frontline nurse and physician respondents (N = 113) in emergency, acute care and rehabilitation units.
Results: Respondents across the sites reported insufficient nurse education and training for acute stroke care as an overarching theme. Moreover, themes related to the acute stroke care quality indicators emerged as areas of competencies that nurses needed training on a continuum: a) timely recognition of acute stroke and transient ischemic attacks, b) NIH Stroke Scale and neurological exams, c) dysphagia screening, d) administration of tissue plasminogen activator and management post treatment, and e) deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis. Themes that were related to structure of stroke care and/or context also emerged and attributed to training challenges across the sites, listed in order of prevalence: a) centralized care versus decentralized care, b) low volume of acute strokes, c) nurse engagement, d) structured acute stroke care education, and e) release time.
Conclusions: VA stroke care providers identify educational needs around specific stroke quality indicators, but also describe key barriers including lower volume, time for training and engagement of nursing staff in acute stroke care. Future programs to improve VA stroke care need to address these barriers to optimally support high quality multidisciplinary stroke care.
Author Disclosures: V. Daggett: None. L. Williams: None. N. Burrus: None. J. Myers: None. L. Plue: None. J. Robinson: None. E. Miech: None. H. Woodward-Hagg: None. T. Damush: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.