Complex Upper Gastrointestinal (UGI) Surgery usually involves the insertion of drains and tubes, usually adjacent to anastomotic sites or areas of concern. It is important that Nursing staff are well informed about their use.
This is a retrospective review of targeted drain management education and its effect on the drain awareness and reduction of drain-related complications. Education sessions were held by the UGI Surgical team from September to December 2019, targeting nursing staff in the ICU and UGI Surgical wards at Bankstown Hospital. 60 Nurses attended the interactive sessions that involved a Powerpoint presentation concurrently with real drains attached to a mannequin in the room for a 3-D perspective. 28 nursing staff (47%) replied to the post-education survey.
Nursing skill set was mixed, with 36% being Registered Nurse (RN) > 5 years and 46% were RN 1-5 years and 14% were RN<1 year. 50% of participants had reported nil prior clinical surgical experience and 43% had < 12 months experience. 79% had minimal or no education about drains during their Nursing degree. All 28 surveyed participants felt that the education sessions had positively impacted their practice, with 43% reporting a greater understanding, the vast majority (82%) felt more confident in managing surgical drains appropriately and 89% felt they had a better understanding of the purpose of surgical drains.
Due to some drain-related incidents at the hospital, it was imperative that education sessions targeted to the Nursing staff looking after such patients were held. Nursing staff largely benefitted from the provision of these education sessions. These education sessions have also reduced drain-related complications.
Drain-related complications are a preventable post-operative complication. Education to highlight and explain the importance of drains and drain management in Upper GI Surgery is essential in preventing adverse events and improving outcomes.