For those seeking to join a QI project this year, here are key “words of wisdom” from Margaret Saari, Final Year Nursing Student:
When embarking on a quality improvement project with U of T’s IHI Open School chapter there are three key things to remember.
First off, what you put into the project is what you will get out of it. In my first experience on a quality improvement team, we had a very enthusiastic group of students who were really interested in making a difference. It was this dedication to the project that ultimately led to our successes.
Secondly, be flexible. The project we started working on was not the project we finished up! QI projects are situated in real life and therefore there are bumps in the road, which may shift the aim of your project as you discover new information. Just because you don’t end up making the exact change you started working towards, does not mean the project is a failure. You may have gained new knowledge about the problem or made other changes that will improve patient safety.
Finally, keep an open mind and think outside the box (or your professional shoes). Although QI projects are inter-professional, they are not about individual professional perspectives and who is “right” and who is “wrong”. Build up your teammates by playing up to everyone’s strengths and seeing them as unique individuals to collaborate with not as professions to work along side. Build relationships, build friendships and you will ultimately build a successful team environment.
Thank you Margaret, for sharing your experience!
Interested in practicing Margaret’s words of wisdom by joining a QI team? Click here.