Nurses in Kazakhstan are embracing a new model of care that optimizes their skill and training, and places the patient front-and-center.
Twenty nurses and six physicians completed intensive training over the summer at Hillman Cancer Center, part of UPMC CancerCenter. This highly-qualified and earnest group of individuals is committed to serving as a catalyst for positive change at NROC.
“The Kazakhstani nurses were very enthusiastic,” says Sharon Hanchett, clinical director of oncology nursing services for UPMC Shadyside. “They want to learn and evolve their role to better support their patients.
“A big part of the nurses’ new role will be autonomy and decision making,” Hanchett adds. “That’s why ongoing, comprehensive training is so important.”
During their stay in Pittsburgh, the Kazakhstani nurses completed several chemotherapy safety modules centered on keeping both the nurse and the patient safe during administration.
“Safety is a critical component of everything we do,” Hanchett says. “Our safety protocols are in place to not only protect the patient, but the nursing staff as well, to reduce the likelihood of infection and deliver a better quality of care.”
The new staffing model will call for more support-staff and support-staff training. This will shorten shifts and ease some of the burden on nurses as they take on these additional responsibilities—another important safety protocol.
Hanchett goes on to explain that patient-centered care ensures the right treatment for a given patient, at the right time and right location, and by the appropriate caregiver.
“We’re really talking about changing the culture of nursing in Kazakhstan,” Hanchett concludes. “It’s a huge undertaking and one that will take some time. But so far, everyone is embracing the new model, as well as the larger vision for patient-centric care.”
Hanchett points out that many patients in Kazakhstan are diagnosed with late stage cancers, which makes treatment difficult.
“If we can diagnose early, we can treat early and
dramatically improve patient outcomes,” Hanchett insists. “Therefore, the new role of nurses also will
emphasize prevention and screening.”