Checklists for Nursing Students at a Surgical Ward
Maher-Zsitvay, Krisztina (2014)
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Patient safety is a central issue in nursing. Safety checklists have proven to be a useful and efficient tool in high-risk workplaces, including the medical field. The type of this study is product development, and the aim was to produce two safety checklists (one preoperational and one post-operational) that aid students’ learning processes. This thesis was commissioned by Ward 2 at the Surgical Hospital, Helsinki, Finland. This ward spe-cializes in the pre- and post-operational care of patients undergoing mouth or jaw surgery. The theoretical framework is Patricia Benner’s five-stage system describing the develop-ment of nurses from the novice stage to the expert. Nursing students, being at the novice stage, still rely heavily on rules and guidelines. A literature review was done to see the efficacy of checklists, and a short survey was sent to nurses on Ward 2 to make the most comprehensive checklists based on their own real-life work processes, and to provide background information on their checklist use and teaching. The limitation of the product is that these two lists are specific to Ward 2. These checklists don’t substitute teaching as such, they only serve as tools. The results of this study are the products themselves, as well as the finding that more experienced nurses don’t necessarily find using such lists useful. As a recommendation however, it is worth mentioning that when complex tasks become a routine, human error is more likely to happen, therefore even experts might profit from taking safety checklists into use. The ready checklists are to be sent to Ward 2 in December 2014, in three languages: Finnish, Swedish and English.