The nursing profession requires a high level of competency among the professionals. This is because competency could be the factor influencing the patient outcomes in health facilities. In my organization, competency is assessed based on the core competencies in nursing. Although there are no formal tools developed for measuring competencies in my organization, the use of these core competencies in daily nursing practice is closely monitored. One of these core competencies is ensuring that the care provided is centered on the patient (Rubenfeld & Scheffer, 2010).
This entails respecting the values of the patients, and preferences and differences that they might have. The other core competencies include ensuring that evidence-based practice is used using informatics, focusing on the improvement of quality and working in inter-disciplinary teams. It is important to note that competency is based on outcomes. Although no formal tool has been developed to measure competency in my organization, competency-based evaluations are performed, where the focus is on the performance of the nursing staff as defined by their ability to meet the established standards (Rubenfeld & Scheffer, 2010).
In order to ensure consistency of care and the improvement of quality, I recommend several suggestions. Firstly, it is important to incorporate reflections in daily practice. Reflection is important, especially in consideration of the rapidly changing aspects of health care. Concepts that were appropriate in various situations may not be application in anymore. Through reflection, a nurse is attuned with the changes in healthcare. I also suggest that continuous learning is another way through which consistency in care and improvement in quality can be achieved. The two suggestions are linked and better when applied together. Through learning, a nurse will keep abreast with the changes in healthcare, thereby enabling her to deliver services in a quality manner, and consistently.
The chart above shows how I am going to apply the core competencies in the specific area of nursing practice. As illustrated in the chart, it involves five elements that are designed to ensure that there is an improvement of quality in the practice. The first element entails the application of quality improvement. This requires benchmarking in order to create a baseline upon which subsequent performance will be evaluated (Lasater, & Nielsen, 2009). It also entails the evaluation of performance with respect to the established standards of practice.
The second core competency as illustrated in the chart involves the use of informatics. This is closely related to the requirement for evidence-based practice in my specific area of practice. The requirement for evidence based practice is aligned with the overall goal of improving the quality of care and by extension improving he patient outcomes (Robert & Peterson, 2013). Informatics is very important as a core competency and also with regard to evidence based practice. This is because evidence based practice involves the search of information that serves as evidence on individual patient scenarios (DiCenso, 2003).
The other core competency as illustrated in the chart involves working together in multidisciplinary teams. Caring for the patient is a holistic approach where the input of several member of the health care team is required. It is important to achieve synchrony in the delivery of service. Working in multidisciplinary teams allows all the members of the health care team to understand the dynamics of care in different departments. This understanding is important in developing synchrony between the members. The final core competency is ensuring that the delivery of care is centered on the patient. This involves respecting the wishes and any desires and differences that the patient might have.
DiCenso, A. (2003). Research: Evidence-based nursing practice: How to get there from here. Nursing Leadership, 16(4): 20-26.
Lasater, K, & Nielsen, A. (2009). Reflective journaling for clinical judgment development and evaluation. Journal of Nursing Education, 48(1). 40-44.
Robert, T., & Peterson, S. (2013). Critical thinking at the bedside: Providing safe passage to patients. MedSurg Nursing, (22), 2, 85-91.
Rubenfeld, M. & Scheffer, B. (2010). Critical thinking TACTICS for nurses: Achieving the IOM competencies (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.