Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 72555
Medical/Surgical Skills Day Improves Nurse Competence and Satisfaction

Authors: Betsy Hannam


Background: Staff nurses felt overwhelmed to learn new skills or complete competencies during their shift. Med/Surg units need to provide dedicated, uninterrupted time to complete training and mandatory competencies and practice skills. Purpose: To improve nurse satisfaction and competence by creating a Skills Day with uninterrupted time to complete competencies, brush up on skills, and evaluate skills learned through pre- and post-tests. Methods: The USL and CNL interviewed nurses to obtain input regarding skills needing reinforcement and included mandatory competencies relevant to Med/Surg to create the Skills Day agenda. Content experts from multiple disciplines were invited to educate staff to help address knowledge gaps. To increase attendance, multiple class days were offered. Results: 2018 Skills Day was held for an inpatient unit with 95% participation (n=35 out of 37RNs). The average pretest score, comprised of content questions from topics discussed, was 57%, and post test scoresaveraged 80%. 94% of test scores improved or remained the same. RNs were given an evaluation at the end of the day, where100% of staff noted Skills Day as beneficial, and 97% requested to repeat next year. Another Med/Surg unit asked to join Skills Day in 2019. In 2019, with 89% participation (n=57 out 64 RNs), the average pretest score was 68%, and the average post test score was 85%. 97% of scores improved or remained the same. 98% reported the class as beneficial, and 96% requested to repeat next year. Skills Day 2020-2022 on hold due to COVID. Looking forward to Skills Day 2023. Conclusion: Skills Day allows nurses to maintain competencies and improve knowledge in areas of interest without the stress of a patient assignment. Having unit leaders organize Skills Day, with the involvement of content experts from multiple disciplines, showed to be a successful and innovative team approach to support professional development.

Keywords: education, competency, skills day, medical/surgical

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