From Left: Genevieve Dougherty, Margaret Xing, Julie Dunne, PMHNP-BC (instructor), Austin Matus, Caroline Dorko, Djita Sidibe and Arlynes Cruz
Recently, seven nursing students from Boston College presented their quality improvement project poster “Use of Ashton Family Terrace on 2 South” to Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry staff.
The project, a culmination of three semesters worth of data collection, analyzed the use of and patients’ attitudes towards the Ashton Family Terrace on 2 South, a space designed to allow inpatient psychiatric patients secure access to fresh air. The data collected aimed to describe the frequency of use and how patients feel the terrace impacts their recovery, as well as to gather patient suggestions for further use.
“The students collected data from over 60 patients on the unit to assess how and when they use the terrace,” explains BWFH Chief of Psychiatry Dr. John Fromson. “Almost all the patients reported benefiting from their time spent on the terrace.”
The project also resulted in some suggestions for improvement. The students recommended orienting patients that are new to the unit to the location of the terrace and the hours it is open; encouraging patients to eat outside at mealtimes if so desired; introducing plants or additional greenery to add color to the space and the consideration of patient-safe heating options or retractable windows so the space is usable regardless of weather.
“In addition to this exercise being a great learning experience for the students, the feedback we received on the terrace is invaluable,” says Dr. Fromson. “We now have a better understanding of how our patients currently utilize the terrace and data that expresses their preferences for future improvements.”
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