Member Spotlight: Beth Hicks, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC
Beth Hicks, MSN, RN, PCNS-BC, is the clinical nurse coordinator for Oncology and Hematology at Kaiser Permanente in Denver, CO. She is also the co-chair of the Health Care Education Association's (HCEA) Communication Committee.
In this member feature, Hicks discusses what drew her to the patient education field and also provides an update on her 2017 HCEA Conference presentation on the Family Learning Center: An Innovative Way to Teach.
When did you become an HCEA member?
Why do you work in the patient education field?
A lot of my role supports patients in the most critical and scary stage of their life with an emphasis of compassion and education to support them through this journey. My goal is to educate patients and their families to their fullest capability to allow them to make autonomous decisions in their health care.
What is your greatest achievement related to patient education?
I would have to say my greatest achievement is completing research around and creating a family education center with use of group-style education, in my previous position.
Your work was featured at the 2017 HCEA conference. Can you tell us a little bit more about it? For example, what challenges did you have to overcome to accomplish your work?
As with any new changes in a health care setting, you are always going to face people that doubt your abilities to support the patients and families we serve. When launching the Family Learning Center, many people thought it would not be successful due to some of the elements that make it great (group learning, away from the bedside/the child, etc.). It was great to show the effectiveness of this educational model, learning complex medical technologies to help support families outside of the hospital setting.
Can you provide an update on your work since you last presented? What's happening now?
The research created around the Family Learning Center with use of the Group Learning and Development (GLAD) Model is in the process of being published in the Journal of Nursing Pediatrics! The Family Learning Center has continued to show a positive impact on our patients and families, so much so that the hospital has remodeled the space and supported the model's expansion and growth.
As a patient education expert, what is one piece of advice, best practice or resource that you would like to share with other HCEA members?
Never let someone tell you education isn't important enough for research. There's a reason that there is not a ton of literature about effectiveness and outcomes of educational models. Push through those remarks and really make a difference in the amazing field we are in!
Want to help shape the future of HCEA? Get more involved by joining one of our Committees. Visit this page to learn more: http://hcea-info.org/html/committees.html.