Date of Award
Projects: SPU Access Only
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Introduction: Caregivers raising children in low income underserved communities often rely on the emergency department to give treatment recommendations for common childhood illnesses which can be safely and effectively managed at home. Individuals with low health literacy often do not feel confident making medical decisions without the guidance of a healthcare professional (Seo, Goodman, Politi, Blanchard, & Kaphingst, 2016) which leads caregivers to visit the emergency department for their children’s minor illnesses. It is estimated emergency room visits for nonurgent childhood illnesses cost Medicaid $200 billion annually (May et al., 2018). Use of the emergency department for nonurgent childhood illnesses demonstrates the need for caregivers to receive practical, evidence-based education in order to safely manage common illnesses at home.
Problem and Purpose Statement: Many caregivers with low health literacy do not have the knowledge to provide safe, evidence-based care at home for minor childhood illnesses (Davis et al., 2018). The purpose of this Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project is to design and implement an educational, community health class to provide caregivers with low health literacy evidence-based home care recommendations for common childhood illnesses.
Methods: The DNP project utilized Casey’s Model of Nursing as a conceptual framework to design an educational class for caregivers in a low-income community known as the Community Wellness Program. The Community Wellness Program was initially designed for an in-person class, however due to the Covid-19 pandemic the class was converted to an online format, which consisted of an 18-minute class video. During the class video the DNP student reviewed common scenarios caregivers will likely encounter. After describing the scenario, the DNP student explained evidence-based treatments caregivers could utilize to care for the child in the scenario. Additionally, the DNP student described signs of worsening illness, when to seek care in the emergency department, and how to dose common over the counter medications. Data was collected utilizing an online pre and post survey consisted of five true or false questions.
Results: Pre and post surveys were linked at the beginning and end of the class video. Very limited data was collected, likely because of the inconvenience of having to pause the class video and follow a link to a different website to complete the surveys. One pre-survey was completed in which the participant scored a two out of five. The results of the survey indicate the potential need for the education provided during The Community Wellness Program. However, insufficient data was collected to determine if The Community Wellness Program was effective.
Sustainability: The educational materials including PowerPoint slides, the video of the class, an informational brochure, and a class script have been provided the university’s undergraduate nursing faculty. Future Community Wellness Program classes will be facilitated by undergraduate nursing students using the class materials provided by the DNP student.
Implications: Virtual learning will likely continue to have a role in health education. The Community Wellness Program demonstrated how an online platform can be used to dispense valuable health education. However, in order for such programs to be effective healthcare professionals need to know if community members have consistent internet access and are comfortable utilizing online platforms such as YouTube. Additionally, healthcare professionals need to consistently promote the online classes in order for community members to know it is available.
May, M., Brousseau, D., Nelson, D., Flynn, K, Wolf, M., Lepley, B. & Morrison, A. (2018). Why parents seek care for acute illness in the clinic or ED: The role of health literacy. Academic Pediatrics, 18, 289-296. Doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2017.06.010.
Seo, J., Goodman, M., Politi, M., Blanchard, M., & Kaphingst, K. (2016). Effect of health literacy on decision-making preferences among medically underserved patients. Society for Medical Decision Making, 36, 550-556. Doi: 10.1177/0272989X16632197.
Mehlmann, Sarah E., "Improving Pediatric Illness Management through a Community Wellness Program" (2021). Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Scholarly Projects. 22.
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