Nursing skills fairs generally have various stations set up that help reinforce nursing skills and training necessary to successfully treat patients in a hospital or medical facility. Instructors provide details about topics that may have an impact on patient care. The skills fair is a way to highlight any areas of concern, share education or provide details about any recent policy changes in the health care facility.
There are several codes within the hospital setting that work as topics in nursing skills fairs. One common code is code blue. This generally represents an adult medical emergency. When using this code, a review of the crash cart and its features may be a good idea. Another popular code in a skills fair is the hospital code for either an internal or external disaster. This code often varies from hospital to hospital. Other codes include bomb threat, pediatric emergency, infant abduction and hazardous spill. Using codes as a focus and implementing simulators when possible allows you to integrate training to handle an emergency situation.
Medical restraints help to protect patients and staff from harm if a patient becomes combative or tries to remove medical devices. Teaching the proper use of restraints benefits the nursing staff and the hospital, since improper use may cause harm to the patient and make the hospital liable. Possibly having the nurses apply the restraints to each other is a way to ensure they understand how to apply them and the risks. Also, a skills fair may focus on checking a patient often while he is restrained to ensure blood flow is normal, as directed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine website.
Chest tubes drain air and fluid from a patients lungs and chest wall to help restore normal chest pressure and reinflate the lungs where gas exchange occurs. As a nursing skills topic, it is important to focus on teaching the proper care of the 6-foot tube leading to the collection canister and additional care necessary for the insertion site. Training also may include instructing the nurses how to properly use suction to assist with the drainage.
Cardiac patients or anyone with a possible heart problem generally wears a telemetry device. The telemetry uses electrodes attached to various locations on the patient’s chest to measure the heart’s electrical signals and reports it to the nurse’s station, generally every six to eight hours. The nurse evaluates the report, or strip, and determines if a patient is suffering from a problem, such as tachycardia, or a fast heartbeat. Another skills topic is how to react to specific telemetry readings or cardiac issues. Bring various strips and have the nurses read them as hands-on training.