A team especially dedicated to enhancing the experience and learning of student nurses, takes effect at Waikato Hospital this month.
A Dedicated Education Unit is a partnership initiative between Wintec and Waikato District Health Board.
The main focus of the unit is to promote and develop a ‘culture of learning’ within practice.
Both the clinical and education teams are conscious of the need to include students within the team so they can actively participate in care delivery.
“For this reason, the area has a high proportion of preceptors supporting students to be part of the workforce,” says Professional Development Unit clinical nurse director Cheryl Atherfold.
The first area to use the Dedicated Education Unit principle is OPR3 in the Older Persons and Rehabilitation service.
The clinical team, preceptors and students are all supported by the additional input from the Wintec academic liaison nurse and the Waikato DHB Professional Development Unit’s clinical liaison nurse.
The input of these two roles equates to an additional 1.2FTE based in the clinical area working with students, preceptors and the wider clinical team contributing to the overall development of a focused learning environment.
“While the Dedicated Education Unit is a pilot at this stage, we plan to commence the model in another clinical area in the second part of semester one,” said Cheryl.
“The pilot will continue through into semester two and be evaluated as an action research project.”