Salmon Creek nurses launch new program
New program begins
Nurses at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in partnership with the University of Portland have launched a new student nurse education program; a first in Washington State and in Legacy Health. The University of Portland developed DEU (Dedicated Education Unit) as a new model for teaching nursing students in clinical rotations. “It’s a remarkable way we can use the strengths of both organizations, bringing together the strong academic expertise of the university in partnership with the clinical expertise of Legacy's nurses," said Casey Shillam, Associate Dean for Baccalaureate Education at UP School of Nursing.
How it works
For the next six weeks, Legacy Health Nurse Acacia Rockett will work directly with her assigned student, Kelsey O’Neil. They’ve become a team. “I like the consistency of having the same teacher each day,” said O’Neil. “I love that I get to teach;” said Rockett, “it keeps my skills fresh,”
In the traditional model, university faculty are the instructors not the nurses. One instructor is paired with eight students. Students have contact with a variety of different nurses depending on the day.
In the DEU model, university faculty train the nurses to be instructors. The nurses are then matched with students on a one-to-one ratio. University faculty are on site to oversee the academic program. In this first semester at Legacy Salmon Creek, four nurses have been trained and are paired up with students.
What is the benefit of the DEU program?
“Better consistency for the student, and they learn at a faster pace when paired with the same nurse each day,” said Amy Doepken, Manager of Medical Specialties at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center. “For our nurses, it’s a great opportunity to develop their teaching skills. We strive to do our best every day and we are excited to have a direct role in teaching our future nurses.”.
For Kelsey O’Neil it will mean greater immersion into the nursing role. She works alongside her nurse instructor, administering care, changing dressings and giving medication. She’s also a part of inter-disciplinary rounds, quality improvement projects, patient education and discharge planning. When she graduates this year, she’ll have benefitted from her nurse instructor’s experience, expertise and one-on-one instruction.
The DEU was first developed in Australia in the 1990’s and is gaining in popularity in the U.S. as studies show students benefit from direct and consistent instruction. The University of Portland adapted the model and is now a nationally recognized expert, with 17 DEUs throughout 10 different Portland area healthcare organizations.
“We’re excited to be a part of this,” says Kelly Espinoza, VP of Nursing at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center. “As partners with University of Portland, we can make sure our students are ready for the rigors of this rewarding and challenging profession, our nurses are given opportunities for professional development and ultimately, it’s our patient who benefits, receiving the best possible quality of care.”
For more information on this story contact Kelly Love at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center.