May 202016
 
Stephanie Morris, Student Nurse at Bangor University

Stephanie Morris, Student Nurse at Bangor University

As a student nurse on clinical placement, I observed a service user disclose to an admitting nurse that he was homeless. He had become unwell as a result of excessive alcohol intake. During his hospital stay the service user repeatedly asked for help with housing, however no referrals or advice seeking calls were made to the Local Housing Authority or Voluntary sector. The service user’s medical needs were met during his hospital stay however he was unfortunately discharged to the streets as staff deemed him medically fit for discharge. This made me extremely sad and so I decided to explore the discharge process for homeless service users. The evidence in the literature identified that discharge to the streets is common and often due to a lack of nursing knowledge on the discharge process for this group which helped me to understand why staff may have made this decision.

As secretary of the Bangor University   Student Chapter I’ve been involved in quality improvement projects and this knowledge helped me to begin to think of ways in which services for the homeless could be improved. I began to consider areas for improvement and found that health promotion could be a method of raising awareness of

Health Promotion Display board at Health Centre

Health Promotion Display board at Health Centre

homelessness whilst improving attitudes towards this vulnerable group. I have since undertaken health promotion activities at a local health centre by designing and displaying a homeless health poster board to raise awareness and educate the staff on homelessness. I am an avid Twitter user and decided to use social media as a platform for sharing evidence, journals, news and updates on my project. This has proved to be beneficial in raising the profile for my project and connecting with other professionals undertaking work to improve outcomes for the homeless.

I have a keen interest in research and wanted to gain knowledge on homelessness that was inclusive of the views of the homeless individuals themselves to ensure my project had a strong evidence base. I approached a local homeless drop in centre with the idea of running art sessions for their homeless service users to provide a therapeutic service and gain knowledge to support my project. The managers of the centre were massively supportive and excited by my project and were keen to allow me to undertake this work. I now run weekly art therapy sessions to encourage service users to express themselves creatively and share their life experiences and stories during the sessions. I am using the art sessions as a method for data collection to find out their experiences as patients, and I’m learning a wealth of knowledge which I plan to use to improve the health services for homeless individuals. This project has taken off and has recently been funded by Betsi Cadwaladr Health board who are helping me to develop and use the knowledge I gain for quality improvement initiatives.

I could never have imagined how much the incident during my placement could have influenced me and my quality improvement journey. The art sessions I run have taught me so much about

Presenting my work at Bangor University Staff/Student Conference, 2015.

Presenting my work at Bangor University Staff/Student Conference, 2015.

homelessness and I am able to engage with the group that I wish so badly to help. A small idea which came about in my first year of nursing has now developed into a much bigger project where I feel I am making a difference to services for the homeless. I feel empowered and proud by how far I have come and excited for where this project will take me. I am hopeful for a brighter future and better health outcomes for this vulnerable group who are in desperate need of help.

Follow my project Health4Homeless on Twitter: @HHMatters

Sep 172014
 
Anitha Uddin

Anitha Uddin

As a group our Swansea University Chapter decided we wanted to support the #hello my name is… campaign, and thought that a student nurse badge initiative would be a great way to get involved. We felt this would be a fantastic opportunity for our student chapter to make a change with a big impact, therefore fully embracing the ideas of quality improvement.

Our faculty lead Julia Pridmore supported us on our project and helped us acquire the student badges that incorporate the #hello my name is… logo. This project was fully supported by Swansea University, implementing the badges for September’s intake of nurses and rolling them out to subsequent cohorts of nursing students. The badges will be bilingual and worn by all fields of nursing students (child, mental health and adult). They are clip on and slide into a plastic holder, so very safe but visible at the same time.
Continue reading »

May 132014
 
Helen Price

Anitha Uddin

In April, I was fortunate to attend the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Paris. It was an eye-opening experience that taught me so much.

A particular idea I took away was that quality improvement should not be considered an extra-curricular activity; it should be embedded into current practice. And since student nurses are the ones who will be working in healthcare in the coming years, it needs to remain the bedrock of our education.

That’s why I found the nursing discussion session so inspirational. I met nurses from around the globe who all shared a similar vision about healthcare and quality improvement, and we discussed everything from policy and education, to current nursing practices and quality improvement. Continue reading »

May 132014
 
Angela Williams

Angela Williams

During my work as a Nursing Lecturer at Bangor University, I am always delighted to see students from the School of Healthcare Sciences feeling enthusiastic about quality improvement and patient safety.

So I wanted to highlight three ways that I’ve seen student nurses inspiring one another recently, and hopefully they will inspire you too! Continue reading »

May 162013
 
Joy Whitlock

Joy Whitlock

I was first introduced to ‘followership’ at a seminar run by Dr Dave Williams. He is an amazing person; an emergency care physician and chief executive of a regional health centre in Canada. And he was a Canadian and NASA astronaut and aquanaut so he knows more than most about safety. 

Healthcare is a high risk environment fraught with potential for errors, some of which have been catastrophic.  Working in it can be challenging and stressful. Active followership can make it better for us and the people we care for. Continue reading »

Apr 122013
 
Jan Davies

Jan Davies

Meeting healthcare students I never fail to be struck by how committed and passionate they are about the work they do. They want to do the best for their patients and provide the highest quality care they can.

We often talk about influencing the workforce of tomorrow, but that misses the point that students are already scattered throughout our healthcare system today. They are therefore in prime position to help bring about positive change. Students are ‘fresh eyes’ on the healthcare system, and often identify opportunities that exist to improve, where colleagues who are so busy already doing the job might miss. Continue reading »