Amer Hussain, Ananda Kumar Dhanasekaran
Birmingham City Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Introduction: Specialist nurses are nurses who have received general training and then specialized in a specific area of practice. Some tasks that are traditionally performed by doctors are routine and follow a protocol. Specialist nurses can take on these tasks and create simple pathways for patients, reducing the waiting time and the demand for clinic space. This is well established in cancer services. In this presentation, we will explain how we developed the LUTS specialist nurses and how they improved the patient pathway.
Methods: In the last 36 months, we have trained two benign prostate / LUTS and one stone specialist nurse. This changed their job role and gave them specific specialized skills. We wrote a protocol for both the LUTS and stone pathways. We also introduced a one-stop LUTS clinic and a shorter pathway for UroLift, which enhanced their roles. They received prescription training and were certified to perform flexible cystoscopy, and transrectal ultrasound of the prostate for volume measurement and biopsy. They shadowed the consultants in the clinics for the first few months. Then they started running their own clinics alongside a consultant. Now they are able to run the clinics independently.
Results: The development of specialist nurses transformed the LUTS pathway, increased the capacity and freed up the consultants to take on more complex roles. We documented the specialist nurses' job role and revised it as they progressed.
Conclusions: Overall, our experience shows that training and establishing specialist nurses leads to better patient outcomes and increased clinic efficiency.