Background: Advances in medical technology have allowed pediatric patients to be discharged home with complex devices, including central venous catheters (CVCs). For these patients to be safely discharged, families require training to care for these catheters. At a large children's hospital, extensive family education and training for CVCs was already established. However, community caregivers were not receiving the same training. In an effort to target these caregivers, an education program was designed and implemented in 2011.
Methods: The program was originally designed and implemented by nurses on a gastroenterology unit and has expanded to include instructors from the vascular access team, hematology/oncology department, and pulmonary department. All community nurses providing care for pediatric patients in the region are welcome to attend the free class with education hours offered. The class is structured with lecture time and skills practice through simulation.
Results: Since the program began in 2011, 34 classes have been offered and 305 nurses have attended from multiple home health companies and school districts in the region. Community-acquired central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates for the pediatric gastroenterology and oncology patient populations have decreased significantly since the class began.
Conclusions: An education program targeting nurses in the community who care for complex patients with CVCs can decrease community-acquired infection rates and complications. This program can be designed and tailored for multiple patient populations with varying complexities and medical devices.