Effect of an educational programme on critical care nurses’ competence at two tertiary hospitals in Malawi

Rodwell Gundo1,3, Beatrice Gundo2, Ellen Chirwa3, Annette Dickinson1, Gael Janine Mearns1

  1. Auckland University of Technology, School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland 1142. New Zealand
  2. Kamuzu Central Hospital, Lilongwe. Malawi
  3. Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Blantyre, Malawi

*Corresponding Authors: Rodwell Gundo; E-mail: rgundo@kcn.unima.mw


Critical care specialty deals with the complex needs of critically ill patients. Nurses who provide critical care are expected to possess the appropriate knowledge and skills required for the care of critically ill patients. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of an educational programme on the competence of critical care nurses at two tertiary hospitals in Lilongwe and Blantyre, Malawi.
A quantitative pre- and post-test design was applied. The training programme was delivered to nurses (n = 41) who worked in intensive care and adult high dependency units at two tertiary hospitals. The effect of the training was assessed through participants’ self-assessment of competence on the Intensive and Critical Care Nursing Competence Scale and a list of 10 additional competencies before and after the training.
The participants’ scores on the Intensive and Critical Care Nursing Competence Scale before the training, M = 608.2, SD = 59.6 increased significantly after the training, M = 684.7, SD = 29.7, p <.0001 (two-tailed). Similarly, there was a significant increase in the participants’ scores on the additional competencies after the training, p <.0001 (two-tailed).
The programme could be used for upskilling nurses in critical care settings in Malawi and other developing countries with a similar context.
Key words; Critical Care Nursing; Needs Assessment; Malawi; Developing Countries; Intensive Care Units

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