A PIONEERING hospice is giving staff the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills to help enhance end of life care for patients.
St Teresa’s Hospice, Darlington, is encouraging staff members to gain specialist knowledge across a range of clinical and non-clinical areas by taking on the roles of link practitioners.
Link practitioners will act as a resource within the hospice and use knowledge learnt from liaising with specialists in healthcare to deliver in-house staff training, develop policy and operating procedures, assist with patient education and information and become the go-to-person for new developments and research.
St Teresa’s Hospice’s Head of Workforce Development Diane Farrell is leading the initiative supported by the Hospices North East Education Collaborative and regional clinical education nurse Tracey Wetherill.
“This is a great way for hospice staff who may have an interest in a certain area of healthcare to develop their knowledge and skills further, become role models for fellow colleagues and help to enhance patient care,” she said.
“Staff that show an interest will be supported in their training and given opportunities to shadow fellow healthcare professionals in areas such as infection control, motor neurone disease, moving and handling (falls), heart failure, pressure sores, dementia, or other areas of care where they may have a particular passion.
“The benefits of the new roles will not only impact greatly on patient care but will also promote job satisfaction for staff and celebrate best practice and achievements.”
Staff who have expressed an interest in a chosen area of specialism will be supported in the learning and development of the role and helped to source relevant training and educational resources.
“Hopefully through supporting this initiative we can enhance the care services that we already provide and become part of a wider network of link practitioners right across the region,” added Diane.
“This will ensure that we set standards for the future and fulfill our roles to help improve patient care at end of life.”