An outcomes evaluation of a quality improvement training initiative for undergraduate student nurses, at a public hospital in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, South Africa.
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The aim of the study was to conduct an outcomes evaluation of a one-day Quality Improvement (QI) Training initiative for undergraduate student nurses, at a public hospital in the Kwazulu-Natal Midlands, South Africa. METHOD A non-experimental, quantitative, descriptive, post-test only, evaluative design was employed using a survey with a structured questionnaire, which included a post-test as well as course evaluation questions. The awareness of QI and QI initiatives and the level of knowledge of undergraduate students after quality improvement training were assessed at a campus attached to a public hospital in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Recommendations regarding the need for future training of this nature were also evaluated in the study. RESULTS The evidence provided by this study show that whilst the QI training did not increase the knowledge of undergraduate student nurses for obvious reasons mentioned in the discussions (chapter 5), an increase in awareness and abilities was seen after exposure of the study participants to QI content and methodologies. This did not negate the requirement for training in this group of students, but rather a newfound interest in QI was reflected in the recommendations the students made after the training. A difference was noted concerning position held and the awareness of QI, QI methodologies and QI activities in the students in the two different levels of training at the institution. It was found that an increase in experience reflected an increase in awareness, but not an increase in knowledge of QI in undergraduate student nurses at the selected public hospital. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS There is little evidence to show there is quality improvement training of undergraduate student nurses in the employment hospitals in South Africa (Dondashe-Mtise 2011). Since there is a concern regarding QI awareness, knowledge and application in the clinical field, the researcher recommends that QI training for undergraduate student nurses needs to be considered in order to improve the health outcomes of all South African citizens. This may be accomplished if health initiatives such as the “Make me look like a hospital project, the National Core Standards, the National Health Insurance” and many other national health initiatives are strengthened and supported by all categories of nurses with competency in QI awareness, knowledge and abilities (NCS: SA, 2011). Research as to the benefit of QI training for undergraduate student nurses in the South African context will determine the need for its inclusion in their curriculum. There is a further need to explore these learners‟ awareness of the importance of continually improving the quality of the care they give to their clients and their level of knowledge; skills and understanding of QI. KEY TERMS: outcomes evaluation, quality improvement training, undergraduate student nurses, initiatives.