Overcoming the Obstacles: Delivering a Brief Intervention Initiative (MECC) within an Undergraduate Nursing Programme.

Authors: Mills, A., Rees, K., Burdett, T. and Knight, A.

Start date: 25 March 2020

BACKGROUND: Academics at Bournemouth University lecturing on the Health Promotion module, to undergraduate nursing students, recognised that although students were able to acquire and articulate the underpinning theory of health promotion they struggled with its practical application. In order to address this omission all members of the teaching team agreed to undertake the Making Every Contact Count (MECC) trainer programme and integrate the training within the academic module. AIM: Equip student nurses with practical personalised person centred health promotion skills; enabling them to initiate, conduct and support healthy conversations with service users, peers and families. Using an academic module; delivered yearly to 350 student nurses in year 2.

METHOD: Evaluation of the experiences of a small group of academics who completed the MECC trainer programme and embedded the MECC initiative. Evaluation of student experiences of MECC.

RESULTS: There is significant extra work involved in the delivery of MECC for academics. Nursing students are traditionally taught in groups of 40 to 50. Smaller groups are required for effective personalised MECC delivery and to facilitate this, academics must deliver MECC sessions on multiple occasions whilst managing the extra MECC and university requirements. Although MECC inclusion is well evaluated by students; support and role modelling in practice is required if students are to utilise their acquired skills. Not all nurse academics contributing to the nursing programme appreciate the philosophy of MECC, which causes confusion for students.

CONCLUSIONS: Although MECC is well evaluated by students there is considerable extra work involved for academic staff. The department has embraced the inclusion of MECC in the future nursing curriculum however there needs to be extra support for academics in the delivery of MECC and training for all academics involved in the nursing programme and support for students in practice using MECC.

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