Online Program

Increasing the self-efficacy in nurses who provide women veteran healthcare

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Theresa Deang, Regis College, Weston, MA
Denise Koutrouba, MS, PHN, WHNP-BC Women Veteran Program Manager/NP, Women Veteran Health Center/Pacific Island Health Care Systems-10 Rural Community Outpatient Clinics, Veterans Health Administration, Honolulu, HI
Toya Desarmes, Performance Management, Veterans Health Admnistration, Bedford, MA
Historically, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) nurses have mostly tended to male veterans. Yet, since 2000, the number of female Veterans using Veterans Administration health care has more than doubled (Dept. of Veteran Affairs). This increase created a knowledge gap in gender specific care.

A VHA program review in Bedford, Massachusetts, identified deficits in Cultural Competencies & Awareness of Nursing Staff, particularly around women’s health. It was determined that to improve the Women’s Health Program (WHP) in Bedford and help bridge the knowledge gap, there had to be an increase in self-efficacy among nurses educating female Veterans.  

To establish baseline knowledge of nurses and inform further training, a 26-question needs assessment based on previous women’s health training was designed and conducted by a public health student. During a one-week period, 13 nurses submitted completed assessments via email. Data was analyzed through Microsoft Excel, creating a Pareto Chart identifying the educational needs of the nurses.

            Results indicated needed training in routine pelvic exams, Pap smear testing, and contraception. Data illustrated that participants were knowledgeable of these areas, but need more education for applying it.

Training will be deployed in these areas via modules and on the job training. Subsequently, a post assessment will measure changes in self-efficacy. Although sample size was small, this assessment helped educational programs meet the current needs of the nursing staff. The assessment can be adapted to help other VHA hospitals and become an important tool to meet the needs of a growing patient population: women veterans.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Design a needs assessment for Women’s Health nurses in the Veterans Health Administration System.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Public Health student at Regis College that has interned at the Veterans Health Administration for a year focusing on occupational health and women's health. During this internship I created the first ever health assessment for the Women's Health Program in the Veterans Health Administration. Among my scientific interests are increasing the quality of care in women's health among Veterans.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.