Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Continuing Education Curriculum for Cardiac Intensive Care Nurses in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi-Kurdistan: A Special Studies Project Open Access

King, Molly Kathryn (2010)

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Background: The estimated global incidence of congenital heart disease (CHD) is 8 per 1,000 live births. More than 1,000,000 children are born with CHD each year, and 90% are born in places with little to no access to adequate care. If left untreated, many children with CHD will have dramatically shortened lives. In the Iraqi-Kurdistan, 4000 children have been diagnosed with CHD. In April 2010, the Sulaymaniyah Center for Heart Disease (SCHD) opened providing cardiothoracic surgery to adults and children in need. The Ministry of Health of Kurdistan and the Medical Director of the SCHD requested a cardiac nurse to train the Kurdish nurses in the cardiac intensive care.

Purpose: The purpose was to develop a 10-week continuing education curriculum to be implemented with the heart center nurses. This curriculum was designed to address specific knowledge deficits of the nurses, areas with a demonstrated lack of competency. The overarching goal of this project was to enable the nurses in the Sulaymaniyah Center for Heart Disease (SCHD) to provide safe and appropriate care to patients recovering from cardiac surgery.

Methods: The content of the curriculum was based on a combination of prior experience teaching nurses in other countries with developing cardiac programs, observed knowledge deficits of the nursing, and requested content from the Kurdish nurses. Mandatory, weekly, 2-hour sessions were held in the SCHD conference room. Post-tests were administered to the nurses in attendance.

Results: The conferences were well attended by the staff. Staff were encouraged to work on the post-test in small groups to model teamwork and the scores overall were good. Over the course of ten weeks, small practice changes were observed, including the nurses recording a respiratory rate and patient getting more adequate analgesia and sedation in the post-operative period.

Discussion: The majority of the nurses (12 of 18) enjoyed the curriculum content, and actively engaged with me at the bedside. Nurses want to deliver good nursing care, but have limited access to current nursing literature. Clear role delineation and educator authority would facilitate a successful program to enhance the skills of the Kurdish nurses in the SCHD.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Problem Statement...5
Definition of Terms...6

Literature Review...9

Motivation & Teamwork...13


Curriculum Development...23
Classroom Environment...24
Process of Curriculum Development...25
Plan for Education Retention and Sustainability...26


Curriculum Contents...28
Conference Proceedings...29
Post-Test Scores...30
Changes in Bedside Practice...31
Case Study...32


Curriculum Content...36


Appendix A: Curriculum...51
Appendix B: Post-Tests...89

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