Speaker Biography

Trisha Iacobucci

Lakeland Community College, USA

Title: Pediatric emergency refresher course: improving clinical competence utilizing relationship based care ‘soft skill’ principles

Trisha Iacobucci

Trisha Iacobucci is an Assistant Professor of Nursing, Lakeland Community College under Hillcrest Hospital- Pediatric ED located in USA


Background: Pediatric emergency refresher courses are commonly developed with the narrow focus of addressing critical assessments and algorithmic “hands on care” related to acute emergencies. While this area of professional development has shown to be vital to the management of pediatric emergency care, there remains a scarcity of research demonstrating the impact refresher education aimed at improving the ‘soft skill’ competencies have on the increasingly valued outcomes of patient centered care and patient satisfaction. The Relationship-Based Care (RBC) practice model (Koloroutis, 2004) emphasizes this premise as a method for developing caring interdisciplinary relationships that support quality patient care experiences.  There is a gap throughout literature review related to staff development initiatives related to RBC ‘soft skills’ for emergency care providers working with children and families. As a result, the Pediatric Emergency Care Refresher Course© was piloted with the goal of improving the RBC soft skills of ED care providers in effort to improve the measurable unit outcomes related to patient satisfaction. Action Taken: Fourteen ED’s within a large international healthcare system were identified as having a need for RBC ‘soft skill’ staff development training.   Principles of pediatric growth and development, interdisciplinary teamwork, atraumatic care, and family centered communication strategies were developed into a Pediatric Emergency Care Refresher© course using concepts from Adult Learner Theory (Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 2015) and the RBC practice model (Koloroutis, 2004).  Voluntary registration for the 2.83 contact hour course was offered to all members of the enterprise and was delivered in face-to-face format by two certified pediatric emergency nurses.  Sessions incorporated active learning strategies such as role play and case study, as well as rich discussion. Outcomes and Takeaways:A total of 38 ED care providers, representing four separate ED locations, attended the course. The majority of participants were identified as ED Registered Nurses (89%, n=34) with ED clinical experience ranging from less than 6 months to more than 15 years.  Participants reported having met all course objectives (n=38, 100%). Small class size, and rich dialogue among participants resulted in collegial problem solving using application of the RBC principles of care to relatable clinical situations. Summarized subjective feedback indicates participants gained increase confidence and communication skills related to the emergency care of children and their families. Future course development is needed to investigate course attendance has on measures of patient satisfaction.