Two Highland-based nursing students have received a national accolade for the quality improvement projects they came up with as part of their studies.
Eve Pincock, a mental health branch student, and Fiona Shiels, an adult branch student, were joint winners from approximately 250 students of the Queen's Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) Undergraduate Prize.
Dr Michelle Beattie, lecturer at the University of Stirling’s Highland Campus, explains that the QNIS looks to advance the professional development of community nurses and promote the use of evidence based practice and that all third year nursing students at the University of Stirling are required to conduct a small quality improvement project as part of the undergraduate nursing programme.
She said: “We know that students learn improvement by actually doing improvement rather than just classroom work and this assessment gives the students the opportunity to experience what it feels like to try and make a small improvement in healthcare practice.
“Students are a great asset for quality improvement work as they see things with ‘fresh eyes’ and come up with some great ideas to improve practice.”
For her project Eve set up a weekly support group for girls transitioning from rural primary schools to a mainstream high school. By the end of the programme all girls reported an improvement in social skills and friendships as well as an improvement in their mood.
Fiona developed a troubleshooting card to assist patients and their families to self-care in the community when using syringe drivers to deliver medications. The project reduced the amount of unnecessary visits made by the team to clients with syringe driver queries, as well as promoting patient carer autonomy.
Dr Annetta Smith, Head of Health Sciences, Highland and Western Isles Campus, said: “We are delighted the Queen’s Nursing Institute, Scotland, have recognised the contribution our students make to improving care for our local communities.”
Photo shows [L-R] Eve Pincock, Dr Michelle Beattie (Lecturer), Brian James (Senior Teaching Fellow) and Fiona Shiels.