Development and implementation of a successful hybrid on-site critical care course in a community based hospital.
CCCF ePoster library. Whelan B. Oct 27, 2015; 114765; P90
Betty Anne Whelan
Betty Anne Whelan
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Topic: Education Science

Development and implementation of a successful hybrid on-site critical care course in a community based hospital.

Betty Anne Whelan, D. Butt

Cardiology, Southlake Regional Health Center, Newmarket, Canada | Cardiac Surgery, Southlake Regional Health Center, Newmarket, Canada

Introduction: Numerous studies of hospital nurses have determined that professional job satisfaction is predictive of staff nurse retention, turnover, and intent to leave their positions for other hospitals (Leveck & Jones, 1996; Lynn & Redman, 2005) Furthermore, the characteristics of nurses’ work environments in the past decade include increased patient acuity, insufficient staffing, lack of control over patient load, concerns about patient safety and quality of care and lack of management and support personnel (O’Brien-Pallas & Hayes, 2008). These factors can reduce job satisfaction and increase apathy in the workplace thereby making it unlikely that nurses will seek outside educational opportunities


The primary aim of developing and facilitating a hybrid critical care course onsite was to improve job satisfaction, retention and increase the number of certified critical care nurse resources thus decreasing prolonged vacancies in all critical care areas. Areas included were Emergency, ICU, CCU, CVICU and the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Secondary benefits include cost savings achieved through a variety of means including: a condensed education and training delivery model, no course registration fees and no travel reimbursement costs.


A business case was developed to allow an analysis regarding the cost and benefits of in-house versus externally provided critical care courses. A decision was made in collaboration with Senior Leadership to pilot an in house program in the fall 2013. Nine staff was selected for sponsorship through an interview process. Four Southlake critical care Nurse Educators developed the course content based on multiple critical care resources, teaching experience and practice expectations of the Critical Care Secretariat of Ontario’s Competencies. Participants participated in 375 hours of combined didactic (150 hours) and clinical (225 hours) education which included the use of simulation for practice and application of new skills. Further, an interprofessional education delivery model was utilized with relevant material being presented by a Registered Dietician and Registered Respiratory Therapist.


The pilot project was successful. Nine staff graduated and practice competently in their respective areas thereby reducing vacancies, increasing staff satisfaction and retention. Anecdotally, staff that would not have pursued a critical care certification externally but did complete the Southlake Regional Health Centre (SRHC) program report high job satisfaction and peers working with these graduates report high satisfaction with the new employees’ knowledge, skill and competency.

Conclusion: Based on the success of the inaugural program, SRHC is preparing to accept its third intake of participants in the fall of 2015. The organization has realized the savings expected and benefits by increased staff satisfaction and retention


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