Taking Tracheostomy Care across the Territory

Dr Carole Maddison1, Mrs Jaya Thomas1

1Clinical Learning Education and Research Services (CLEaRS), Top End Health Services, Darwin, Australia


Background and Aim/s:In 2014 the education program resulted from an identified need to enhance clinical skill and knowledge of tracheostomy care for all health care staff at Royal Darwin Hospital. This was driven by high staff turnover and the need to ensure an Interprofessional approach to learning and care delivery.
The seven hour program was collaboratively designed with medical, allied health and nursing input and a strong focus on the patient experience to inform practice.

Methods:Presenters include nursing, medical, speech pathology disciplines with an enthusiastic patient / consumer.
Delivery design comprises pre-session assessment, theory and practical skills undertaken in a simulated clinical setting.
The program has been extended to Alice Springs staff with theoretical sessions delivered via Videoconference and skills stations completed in the simulated clinical setting at each venue.

Results:In 2016-2017 six sessions were delivered with three videoconference-linked to Alice Springs.
There were 137 attendees from Nursing and Allied Health disciplines.
The program received commendation from the ACHS accreditation surveyors in August 2017 for innovation and the inclusion of the patient perspective.
Future inclusion of Katherine and Gove hospitals is planned.

Conclusion:The success of the program highlights the importance of engaging patients in the planning and delivery of education for clinicians. This program includes
• Patient centred care
• Interprofessional collaboration
• Simulation and practical skills
• Use of technology to reach geographically dispersed audiences

References: Available on request


Jaya Thomas has worked in the CLEaRS (Clinical Learning Education and Research Service) team as Nurse Educator with the Graduate Nurse Program and Nurse Education Consultant delivering a range of programs across the Top End Health Service. She has experience in acute clinical nursing as well as an in-depth understanding of chronic disease management. She has completed a Master of Nursing and holds a Graduate Certificate in Education. Jaya has been integral to the development of the Tracheostomy Care program that has been delivered across the Northern Territory.

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