Background: The Diabetes Ambulatory Care Service (DACS) commenced at Monash Children’s in 2003 due to the rising incidence of Type 1 Diabetes (T1DM) and to minimise demand for admitted services. Newly diagnosed patients presenting during standard working hours and meeting DACS criteria for ambulatory education are managed as outpatients.
When DACS was introduced, paediatric nursing staff reported decreased confidence in caring for patients with T1DM admitted on weekends or after hours due to reduced clinical exposure. This led to the implementation of a preceptorship program managed by DACS in collaboration with the paediatric wards at Monash Children’s.
Aims: The preceptorship program aims to upskill paediatric nurses in diabetes education to improve the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with T1DM admitted after hours and on weekends.
Method: The program enables paediatric nurses to work alongside the DACS Credentialled Diabetes Educators (CDE) two days a week over a three month period. To be eligible for the program, nurses must complete the Paediatric Diabetes Short Course. Nurses initially observe the CDE deliver the DACS three day education program to newly diagnosed patients. Once knowledge and confidence levels are assessed, nurses are transitioned to deliver full patient education in a supported learning environment.
Results: 36 paediatric nurses have completed the program to date with nursing staff reporting more confidence and competence educating and caring for newly diagnosed patients. The development of clinical guidelines and regular professional development opportunities support nurses to continue to deliver evidence-based diabetes education after the completion of the program.
Conclusion: Implementation of a preceptorship program relating to diabetes education has improved the knowledge and quality of care provided by paediatric nurses to newly diagnosed patients with T1DM admitted after hours and on weekends. Similar programs aim to be implemented in all paediatric wards at Monash Health.