‘REDI TO CHAT?’ Evaluating the effect of two structured tools on the confidence of nursing and care staff working in residential aged care facilities in Australia: A pre-post survey design
Australasian Journal on Ageing
Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of two self-designed structured clinical tools on overall self-perceptions of confidence in the assessment, management and communication of acutely unwell residents in nursing and care staff of residential aged care facilities (RACFs). Methods: Quasi-experimental pre-post design using surveys in 22 RACFs in Metropolitan Sydney, Australia. A convenience sample of 254 nursing and care staff were recruited. Two structured tools were developed to enhance confidence: (1) RACF Emergency Decision Index (REDI) and (2) Clinical Handover Assessment Tool (CHAT). The REDI is a clinical decision guide for treatment implementation and escalation, and the CHAT is a structured communication aid. Surveys were administered to participating nursing and care staff working within the RACFs prior to the implementation of the two structured tools (T0) and 6 months later (T1). Results: There was a significant increase in reported overall confidence in assessing and managing acutely unwell residents 6 months after the implementation of the REDI and CHAT (p = 0.003 and p = 0.006, respectively). Baseline Confidence in Assessment Scale and Confidence in Management Scale scores differed significantly 6 months following the implementation of the REDI and CHAT tools (p < 0.001). There was improvement across all surveyed communication domains. Conclusions: Preliminary data suggested that the two structured tools are effective in increasing confidence in the assessment, management and communication of acutely unwell residents for nursing and care staff working in RACFs.
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