Georgia faces an acute shortage of nurses and limited opportunities for continuing education. Nurses are underutilized and lack access to evidence-based practice guidelines and training in oncology nursing practices. Evidence shows that specific nursing interventions can enhance patients’ behavioral management of physician-prescribed cancer treatment; increase quality of life; add to self-care competencies; improve healing; improve symptoms control and reduce anxiety.
This workshop aimed to:
· introduce new skills in psycho-oncology to practicing nurses and educators
· advance supportive care nursing education
· increase capacity of nurses to improve quality of life among oncology patients
· identify early innovators/key collaborators
· identify barriers to delivery of evidence-based nursing care
· set goals for overcoming barriers
· incorporate modules into TSMU curriculum
In partnership with a local NGO and Tbilisi State Medical University (TSMU) we delivered interactive, evidence-based training modules, pre-selected by Georgian physicians and nurses. Demonstration videos and materials were developed for incorporation into the nursing curriculum. Content included state-of-science skills that nurses can utilize to relieve patients’ cancer and treatment-related symptoms; reduce patients’ anxiety and depressed mood; enhance patient and caregiver illness-management skills and competencies; and address nurse self-care.
The project included nurse observation, a 3-day intensive workshop and consultation with TSMU on integrating the modules into the nursing curriculum. Pre- and post-tests, exit surveys and follow-up interviews were conducted to assess knowledge acquisition and implementation.
· 37 nurses, educators and physicians trained (demand exceeded expectation), 9 trainers identified
· Enhancing Patient Quality of Life and Nurse Self-Care most highly rated
· Commitment from TSMU to pursue certification of nurses as lecturers
· Barriers: Role of nurse poorly defined, limited communication with patient, lack of printed information for patients
· Nurses reporting positive results after 4 months specifically in patient communication and meditation
· High demand for additional training