When the COVID-19 pandemic struck earlier this year, almost every healthcare professional in the Country agreed on one essential strategy to beat the disease: more testing. In a very short time, Health Services identified an urgent need to expand COVID-19 testing to patients at every clinic and hospital in the Health Services network. However, testing patients for COVID-19 is not a simple process, and much training is required. As a result, Nursing leadership from Population Health and the Ambulatory Care Network (ACN) worked in coordination with the Health Services Outpatient Care Interdisciplinary Practices Committee (Health Services OP IDPC) to develop and implement Standardized Procedures/Protocols (SPSPs) for Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) and Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs). The SPSPs for COVID-19 test ordering created a process by which licensed and certified staff could safely, efficiently and effectively expedite COVID-19 testing for patients while allowing providers to focus on seeing their COVID-19 and non-COVID patients.
In “normal” times, SPSP training is provided to staff in a classroom style setting at Health Services’ health facilities on different days. During this more traditional approach, perhaps 140 employees would receive the SPSP training over a span of 10 days. However, with COVID-19 requiring that SPSPs be implemented urgently, and with social distancing rules making in person trainings impossible, the Ambulatory Care Nursing Professional Development and Education team, led by Dr. Jenelle Zambrano, innovated and rolled trainings out on the new Microsoft TEAMS platform. Zambrano and her team quickly trained 601 employees across the ACN sites on these SPSP’s in just eight days. The time between final approval of the COVID-10 Test Ordering SPSP and the first online TEAMS training was only one day.
“There aren’t enough words to express how appreciative I am of the Ambulatory Care Nursing Professional Development and Education team and their flexibility, dedication, commitment, and ability to quickly adapt to the everchanging environment,” said Dr. Zambrano, Assistant Nursing Director of Education. “We were able to meet the needs of our patients because of the partnership and collaboration with the Health Services OP IDPC, ACN, the Community Testing Workgroup and Nursing Leadership at each of the sites.”
The online training format was well received by trainees, as well. “The virtual training for the SPSPs provides a platform that fosters efficiency and flexibility for both instructors and participants. The virtual class ensures training courses and content are delivered in a standardized manner while having the ability to reach a large, targeted audience at once,” said Ceff Cabanban, MSN, NP-C, Outpatient Care Services Nurse Educator at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. “I love that we have a platform to disseminate needed knowledge to every facility at the same time,” added Angela Moore, MSN Ed., RN, Nursing Instructor of Ambulatory Care Nursing.
Next, Dr. Zambrano and her team are working on getting the training on the Learning Net, while more COVID-19 Test Ordering SPSP training sessions are being planned for the end of this month for outpatient staff.