Find out how this Quality Improvement (QI) Coach
overcame tough times in her career, and what advice she would give to someone
struggling with their QI project.
1. What is a typical day at work for you?
I am an Advanced Practice Nurse with the Office of Integrated Care. I work with 65 nurses, 23 Patient Navigators and 42 Transitional Care Hospital to Home (H2H) nurses, providing them with clinical and operational advice.
The team assesses the needs of patients at high risk of repeated hospital admissions, facilitates their care transition from hospital to community, and coordinates their medical, nursing and social care. We ensure that patients and their caregivers have ready access to the information they need to make informed decisions along their care journey.
The H2H nurses conduct post-discharge home visits for patients with multiple complex conditions. They help to prevent further deterioration and hospital readmission by identifying issues early and intervening with a multi-disciplinary team.
The H2H team is supported by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to provide comprehensive community care for residents.
2. What made you pursue nursing as a career?
I decided on nursing with the encouragement of my late aunt, who was a nurse. Through her guidance, I saw nursing as a way to help people and give back to society. I am glad I can make a difference in our patients’ lives.
3. As a QI Coach you frequently have to set aside time to guide junior nurses on their QI projects. How do you find the motivation to do so on top of your regular workload?
There are always opportunities to improve patient care and the way we work. For that, QI is an effective and structured way to change practices and implement new ideas. It is thus worthwhile investing some time in training and coaching my fellow nurses and colleagues who are passionate about improving our patients’ lives. It gives me great satisfaction when I am able to see the positive results of their projects.
4. Nursing can be a very challenging job. How do you relieve stress and stay strong for your family and your patients?
Having good colleagues, strong family support and a positive mindset and attitude helps me through challenges. I always share my passions and aspirations with my family, and they are very supportive and encouraging. I have three loving children; two teenage daughters and a 5-year-old son. I love spending time with them and taking them out on nature walks – teaching them to appreciate life and not take things for granted. Some of our favourite activities are farm visits, walks at Mount Faber, Hort Park and the Botanic Gardens. We find it calming whenever we get close to nature, and it helps us recharge mentally to face the days ahead.
Dr Rachel with her family
5. What advice do you have for someone who has a lot of ideas, but is facing difficulty in implementing them?
Do not give up! QI is not easy, and it is common not to succeed on your first try. Sometimes you can have a brilliant idea, but due to various factors, you didn’t achieve optimal results. Do not be discouraged. Take it as a learning process, tap on the experience of those you trust as well as your QI Coach, and try a different way. If you ever feel lost, remind yourself what your end goal is, what you are fighting for, and eventually you will find the way. It also helps to find allies who are interested to solve the same problem.
Do you have an idea for a QI project? Find out how you can make it happen!
Also, check out the list of QI Coaches in your Division.
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