Change Agents

The healthcare industry has experienced significant changes since the days of Florence Nightingale. Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) research is an example of a critical element of change in healthcare, which has made healthcare delivery more efficient. Initiating change begins by validating its importance in patient care. When an individual confirms its positive impact in healthcare, the individuals can proceed to champion for the change in the clinical work area. A change agent is, therefore, an individual who applies aspects of role modeling, guidance, and facilitation to encourage nurse leaders and colleagues to adopt a change.    

Positive change agents use various channels, including creating forums for influencing the implementation of successful programs in healthcare facilities. Most change agents prefer using the shared governance approach when carrying out a change so that other nurses can contribute by selecting the changes that would have the maximum benefits to healthcare provision. During one of my locations, while volunteering in a rural healthcare organization, I realized that the rate of hospital-acquired infections was increasing due to poor handwashing skills (Fox et al., 2015). After sharing my findings with my colleagues and confronting the management, the hospital decided to increase the number of places where both patients and clinicians could wash their hands regularly. Since then, the hospital experiences very few cases of hospital-acquired infections.

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 In the same facility, after observing an increase in needlestick injuries, the head nurse influenced the management to ensure that all clinicians wore double gloves whenever they were dealing with sharps. It was noted that putting on two gloves reduced the likelihood of needlestick injuries (Inam et al., 2017).The idea was implemented, and clinicians feel safer today. The management embraced the changes and encouraged more change agents in the organization by promising to consider and verify all suggestions by practitioners.     

References

Fox, C., Wavra, T., Drake, D. A., Mulligan, D., Bennett, Y. P., Nelson, C., … & Bader, M. K. (2015). Use of a patient hand hygiene protocol to reduce hospital-acquired infections and improve nurses’ hand washing. American Journal of Critical Care, 24(3), 216-224.Inam, A., Shah, M., Shahzadi, S., & Jan, Y. (2017). Comparison of single vs double gloving in protection against intraoperative needle stick injuries. Ophthalmology, 15(4), 417-20.

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