AHRQ Resources Enhance Georgia Southern University’s Nursing Course
Family nurse practitioner students at Georgia Southern University are using information from an AHRQ webinar to learn how to better assess patient health problems and develop treatment plans.
The webinar—A Review on How to Access and Implement AHRQ's Evidence-Based Resources to Inform Your Clinical Practice—provides step-by-step guidance on conducting a systematic review of literature on a health topic. It also explains how to access data from AHRQ's National Guideline ClearinghouseTM and Evidence-based Practice Centers Program and guidelines issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Carole Bennett, Ph.D., assistant professor at Georgia Southern, said her students use AHRQ's tools and resources to analyze case studies of patients with mild to moderate mental illness, in addition to other health problems often seen in the primary care setting. About 25 students enroll in this course each year. She added that an additional course on using AHRQ resources for psychiatric care started in January 2016.
"It's extremely impressive how the quality of my students' coursework has improved by using AHRQ's evidence-based resources," Dr. Bennett said. "Students' data collection and development of patient treatment plans are much stronger and more comprehensive, as AHRQ's tools and resources enable students to view health problems from a number of different perspectives."
The students consult AHRQ resources and then make care management decisions for their case studies based on best practices, she explained. Examples of patient case studies include an Army veteran with hepatitis C who suffers from post-traumatic stress and a pregnant woman with a drug problem who is also a victim of intimate partner violence.
"Using the resources shown in the AHRQ webinar, we're teaching students a process that helps them learn how to access and use the most up-to-date scientific literature and evidenced-based practices to make decisions on patient care," Dr. Bennett explained.
She continued, "And, since AHRQ's tools and resources are constantly updated, students have the most current evidence available on which to base their decisions. AHRQ's Web site is a great resource that we hope students will use regularly once they enter clinical practice."