Together we are more effective: Nursing team members’ experiences of development work on patient education

Kaija Lipponen, Helvi Kyngäs, Outi Kanste


Objective: Evaluating care pathways, strengthening patient education, developing staff’s patient education skills, and improving collaboration between healthcare workers in hospitals and health centers are all topical challenges in the field of healthcare. Successful patient education requires seamless co-operation across organizational boundaries throughout the whole nursing process. The aim of this study was to assess personnel’s experiences of a developmental nursing project, involving networking between Finnish primary (health centers) and special (hospitals) healthcare organizations, and the significance of development work on patient education in terms of strengthening information flow, co-operation and know-how. The aim of the study was to explore the healthcare personnel’s experiences of development work in the context of networking between organizations, specifically focusing on the impact of development work with regard to information flow, co-operation and strengthening know-how. The specific research question was addressed: What is the impact of development work in this context in relation to information flow, co-operation and readiness for patient education?

Methods: Data were collected from theme interviews (n=24) with primary and special healthcare team members who participated in a collaborative project, then analyzed by qualitative content analysis.

Results: The findings indicate that development work on patient education improves collective expertise, key components of which are learning as a patients’ counselor, collective know-how, and the exchange of knowledge.

Conclusions: Development work can strengthen individual and collective know-how and nursing expertise. In the examined project, enhanced network co-operation increased collaboration between organizations and improved information flow throughout the nursing process. In addition, promotion of development on nursing and provision of feedback to the participants by the nurse manager appear to be crucial for successful development work on patient education. Workplaces and the nurse managers need to provide adequate resources’ to develop nursing processes as well as motivate employees to improve nursing. Additionally, nurse managers should support and guide the healthcare workers in development work toward this goal. Well planned and executed development project can improve nursing practices across organizational boundaries.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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