Educator keen to pass on skills to develop nurses
Jacky Watkins hopes her research will help nurses perform a highly skilled but infrequent procedure more safely.
The nurse educator last week graduated with her masters in nursing from the University of Auckland. Her thesis looked at the practice of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) placement in New Zealand.
The advanced nursing procedure involves placing a feeding tube directly into the stomach and is used for patients who are not able to swallow well.
Mrs Watkins' research finds there is no practical training for PEG placement in the country, with all clinicians having on-the-job training.
"It's ad hoc. It relies on someone being there and willing to teach you in the DHB you're in."
The Mellons Bay resident's research recommends simulation training "so you can get your skills up on a model, which is safer".
Large hospitals might do 60 PEG placements a year, but smaller hospitals might do between one and five.
"There's less support in smaller hospitals which means there can be a disparity in the care the patients receive," she says.
"There's just less infrastructure and they have to know a lot about an awful lot, and this is a very small, very particular kind of skill."
Mrs Watkins completed her masters in nursing over two-years of part-time study while working as a nurse educator for Counties Manukau District Health Board.
She will travel to Amsterdam to present her thesis topic to the United European Society of Endoscopy and GE Nurses and Assistants annual conference on October 30.
Mrs Watkins comes from a high-achieving family, with husband Lionel Watkins a senior lecturer in physics at The University of Auckland, and her eldest son a Fullbright scholar and PhD candidate at Iowa State University in Ames.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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