AWARE™

The AWARE™ course was developed in 2009 by members of the nursing and midwifery education team at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, AWARE™ is a developmental programme for healthcare support staff to improve recognition and response to deteriorating patients. It responds to an increasing focus on the role of Healthcare Support Staff in development of competent performance. It also links to changes in workforce demographics and the need to work more effectively in enhancing patient safety and promoting high quality care and was informed by key evidence from National Patient Safety Agency (2007), National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death (2005, 2009, 2010 & 2011), NICE Clinical Guideline 50 (2007) and Royal College of Physicians. (2012).

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The course is delivered as a one day programme providing a clear framework of knowledge and skills for healthcare support staff to promote early identification of patients whose condition is deteriorating. It also outlines specific competencies that will contribute to the effective management of patients at risk to contribute to the provision of high quality nursing care. The day is supported by a comprehensive workbook that includes action planning to provide a clear link to practice and other learning activities, a teaching manual, and slide presentations.

Learning activities included in the course are varied to meet the learning needs of the candidate group and include

  • Quizzes
  • Group work
  • Discussion
  • Questions and answers
  • Patient scenarios
  • Decision making and role play
  • Workbook
  • Competency assessment in practice

Aims of AWARE™ are to:

  • Explore the role and responsibility of HCAs in recognising and responding to changes in patients condition
  • Develop underpinning knowledge and skills to enable effective performance when observing and monitoring patients
  • Support completion of competency to verify achievement in practice
  • Support learning in a variety of clinical areas

Objectives of AWARE™ are to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of principles and correct technique when monitoring physiological observations
  • Recognise and respond effectively to physiological signs that indicate adverse changes in patients condition
  • Discuss use of track and trigger systems and the importance of accurate record keeping
  • Explore strategies for effective communication and reporting of results
  • Recognise key emergency equipment and provide appropriate support in emergency situations

Feedback and evaluation from candidates demonstrates that the AWARE™ course:

  • “increases awareness of the responsibilities of our roles”
  • provides meaning to tasks performed in practice
  • improves confidence and competence
  • provides a better understanding of the need for assistance
  • improves awareness of good communication
  • improves awareness of good documentation

 

References

National Patient Safety Agency. (2007). PSO/5Safer care for the acutely ill patient: learning from serious incidents. London: National Patient Safety Agency.

National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death. (2005). An Acute Problem. London: National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death.

National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death. (2009). Deaths in Acute Hospitals: Caring to the End? London: National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death.

National Confidential Enquiry Patient Outcomes and Death. (2010). An Age Old Problem- A Review of the Care Received by Elderly Patients Undergoing Surgery. London: National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death.

National Confidential Enquiry Patient Outcomes and Death. (2011). Knowing the Risk. A Review of Peri-Operative Care of Surgical Patients. London: National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death.

NICE Clinical Guideline 50. (2007). Acutely ill patients in hospital.  Recognition of and response to acute illness in adults in hospital. Manchester: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Royal College of Physicians. (2012). National Early Warning Score (NEWS): Standardising the assessment of acute illness severity in the NHS. Report of a working party. London: Royal College of Physicians.

AWARE Workbook

Article Nursing Standard