The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


R. A. Nielsen1, L. Jensen1

Pediatric Home Service (PHS) provides in-home support to technology dependent children, creates caregiver education materials and conducts education classes for home care providers. PHS was receiving emergency phone calls from caregivers of its patients with tracheostomies who did not understand equipment use and emergency protocols. PHS conducted in-home caregiver assessments of essential skills to directly determine what educational materials and interventions needed to be developed.

PHS created a 37 item survey that included skill demonstration questions to assess caregiver knowledge of proper equipment setup, oxygen safety and use, emergency resuscitation bag function and use, and emergency response procedures. PHS targeted the survey to all its patients who both had a tracheostomy and used a ventilator for respiratory support. Three RCPs and one RN from PHS conducted the surveys; no surveyor assessed the caregiver of a patient for whom s/he was the primary clinician.

Eighty five of the 108 patient families who were contacted agreed to participate. Caregivers included: 17 family members, 24 RNs, 38 LPNs, 1 RCP, and 5 PCAs. Overall, caregivers were skilled in routine daily care but were significantly lacking in abilities to demonstrate oxygen safety and proper tank use, proper resuscitation bag use, appropriate emergency response, and back up battery use and charging.

Based on survey results, PHS developed drafts for various educational materials and then met with 9 home care administrators, 10 hospital care managers, and 12 referring physicians to discuss the survey results and review the draft education materials. The result is the STAR Campaign, comprised of a boxed set of education tools and enhanced PHS education classes. The STAR education kit has been given free to families, home care providers and referring physicians. PHS clinicians are re-training the families and support providers of if its 142 current ventilator patients and 77 current heated humidity to tracheostomy. A second survey is scheduled to re-evaluate the in home care provider with additional questions relating to the educational tools provided in the STAR campaign.

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