Int J Orthop Trauma Nurs. 2019 Nov;35:100700. doi: 10.1016/j.ijotn.2019.04.003. Epub 2019 Apr 23.
BACKGROUND: Nurses transitioning into the specialty of orthopaedics gradually develop the skills required to provide care for patients with musculoskeletal conditions or injuries, but during the early stages this can be challenging and lead to a lack of confidence. Strategies aimed at developing confidence in these nurses to make sound decisions and clinical judgements in their professional practice will assist in strengthening their practice and delivery of quality care.
AIMS: This study aimed to investigat if the delivery of an orthopaedic workshop improved the ongoing confidence of advanced beginner nurses, as recognised in Benner’s exploration of skill acquisition, to undertake skills required to assess and manage patients with musculoskeletal injuries or conditions and assist in their decision making to achieve optimal patient outcomes.
METHODOLOGY: A quasi experimental pre-test, post-test study was chosen to measure nurses’ confidence to undertake the scope of practice in orthopaedics at the advanced beginner level of expertise.
METHODS: A questionnaire was designed and administered to measure the level of confidence pre-intervention, immediately post intervention and twelve weeks following participation at an orthopaedic workshop. The workshop was designed specifically for nurses transitioning into the specialty of orthopaedics.
FINDINGS: The intervention had a positive impact on the confidence of advanced beginner nurses. The measurement prior to participation at the workshop indicated confidence levels were generally low. Immediately post participation the level of confidence had increased for all participants. When measured again at twelve weeks’ post intervention the level of confidence had been maintained or continued to increase in the majority of orthopaedic practice areas. The overall level of confidence between pre-interven tion to twelve weeks post intervention demonstrated a clear improvement in all areas of practice.
CONCLUSION: It was evident that nurses transitioning into the speciality of orthopaedics had lower confidence levels in relation to specialty-specific skills and knowledge. The use of an education workshop improved the confidence of nurses, not only immediately post intervention, but also in the longer term. Supporting a pathway to transition in the specialty which includes specific education delivered at key times is recommended as it could beneficial to advanced beginner nurses, the specialty, patients and the profession.