HealthApril 02, 2017

How to better train nurses for team-based community health care

As our society places more emphasis on health, wellness, disease prevention and more effective chronic disease management, there has been a higher demand for patient-centered care that is more accessible, coordinated, and a model in which all pieces work together.

The increasing need for team-based care is also a result of an increased movement to bring care to the community, instead of the community always coming to the providers.

To keep up with that demand, leading nursing associations are calling on nursing education programs to consider how they can emphasize team-based health care models to better service communities.

What is team-based health care?

Team-based health care acknowledges that the patient is "owned" by a whole team of experts. Comprehensive health services are provided by health professionals who work collaboratively along with patients, caregivers and community service providers to achieve care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable.

The idea behind team-based health care is for everyone on the team - from pharmacists to medical assistants to nurses - perform to the fullest capacity of their training and experience. This is especially true for nurses, who are highly trained in all facets of patient care. The team actively integrates different perspectives, knowledge, experience, expertise, and cultural awareness to address a health, illness or wellness need.

In January, The Tri-Council for Nursing (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Nurses Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives, and National League for Nursing) published a joint statement on "The Essential Role of the Registered Nurse and Integration of Community Health Workers into Community Team-Based Care." The statement discusses the changing nature of care in the community and the importance of high-impact teams, highlighting the roles of registered nurses and community health workers.

The paper states:

Interprofessional team-based care is widely accepted as an effective model of care for complex patients in hospital and ambulatory settings. The increasing complexities of health care and persistent demand for information have been primary factors driving the need for high-performing teams,” the paper states. These teams bring individuals together in the community to provide the best possible care as well as achieve all three aims of the National Quality Strategy (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011) - better care and experience, improved population health and lower costs.

What is the role of nurses in team-based health care?

The evolution of team-based health care acknowledges new and modified roles for clinicians and other caregivers, their relationships and customized interactions with patients and families.

Work should be matched to each staff member's licensure, experience and abilities, including physicians, mid-level providers, nurses, and other staff members. But the critical leadership role that registered nurses (RNs) play in the delivery and coordination of care cannot be understated.

The RN brings a core competency to the team by being able to provide advanced assessments, coordinated care planning, evidence-based interventions and evaluations that are within the registered nurse's scope of practice.

RNs fulfill a key role in care coordination, and strengthen the care team's ability to meet a wide range of individual needs and preferences. Further, the RN helps the team evaluate the effectiveness of their actions and redirect services as needed.

RN care coordination leads to positive patient outcomes, effective collaborative practice and a decrease in health care costs.

Here's how we can properly equip today's nurse for team-based community health care

Simply having different professionals work together doesn't ensure they have all the skill sets necessary to effectively deliver patient-centered care, nor does it mean they can properly administer all of the various population-based services needed to promote health and optimize partnerships for health.

What is needed is a thorough assessment of the type and nature of education, training and continued competence for those holding or aspiring to hold new roles on health care teams. Nurses on health care teams need to be prepared for practice through interactive, case-based learning that connects learning to real-life situations they will encounter.

This is where today's nursing schools come in; the role of the nursing educator is pivotal to ensuring today's RNs can work collaboratively with the team-based care model. Instructors teaching coarses for bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree programs have been challenged to better prepare students to provide higher quality care upon entering practice. And BSN instructors need to be equipped with the proper tools to maximize the nursing student experience and learning capabilities.

CoursePoint for community & public health

Lippincott CoursePoint provides this kind of preparation for students in BSN programs. CoursePoint is a rich, digital learning environment that integrates content from top Wolters Kluwer textbooks with video cases, interactive modules, and journal articles. Ideal for active learning, this powerful solution helps students develop higher-level cognitive skills, and asks them to make decisions related to simple-to-complex scenarios.

And now, in response to the increased demand for highly-qualified community and public health nurses to fill a vital role in team-based community health care, Lippincott is offering CoursePointcourses for Community & Public Health. What's better, the forthcoming Lippincott CoursePoint for Community & Public Health will feature new powerful tools and instructor resources designed to help students solve simple to complex scenarios, as well as build their evidence-based practice skills.

Community & Public Health courses are sometimes perceived as "fluff" by student because they do not offer enough real-life clinical experience to provide context for this content. Teachers in these courses seek innovative resources like Lippincott CoursePoint to boost engagement and help students see the relevance of these courses to practice.

With our CoursePoint for Community & Public Health, digital text content will be integrated with active learning resources and collated journal article collections from Lippincott Nursing Center. These offer effective, personalized course solution for students and instructors alike. Our Interactive Modules are narrated multimedia modules that uniquely foster experiential, active learning. Aligned to the guiding nursing curriculum standards, these modules ensure students are learning what they need to, how they like to - with storytelling, skills modeling, gamification, spaced-learning, and case-based scenarios. The modules:

  • Allow learners to explore and browse detailed information and tips in a self-directed way
  • Model effective and ineffective behaviors using video examples
  • Provide quick knowledge checks to reinforce learning
  • Give learners an opportunity to view and react to real-world scenarios
  • Engage users with narration and graphics that connect on a personal level
  • Reinforce key information with easy-to-access PDF aids

Meanwhile, our Video Cases have been designed to capture students" attention through entertaining, unfolding cases that make community health material more relevant to clinical practice and, as a result, more engaging to students who devalue the course over the other more acute-care, clinically focused courses they are taking.

But instructors won"t just be left on their own to figure out how to most effectively teach with CoursePoint for Community & Public Health. Instructors will receive an array of resources to support their teaching, including a discussion guide, classroom activities, syllabi, a "How to Teach with Cases Guide," two course capstone projects, and Competency Maps to help with accreditation, including AACN's BSN Essentials, QSEN, and IOM.

Lippincott also offers interactive, base-based learning available for Leadership & Management, as well as Nursing Research.

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