Playing our part in the fight against COVID-19
27 March 2020
A team of Cardiff University lecturers, tutors and technicians has started to deliver critical care training for Nurses and Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, on Wednesday, welcomed its first training group of dedicated NHS nurses and ODPs from the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CVUHB).
The aim of the advanced training is to prepare practitioners who do not usually work in intensive care settings, to ‘step-in’ if extra resource is required at Intensive Care Units (ICUs) within Cardiff and Vale.
As the number of COVID-19 cases in the UK increases, so does the pressure on NHS hospitals. Having additional frontline healthcare staff who are ready to care for patients with coronavirus, is crucial.
The Head of School was approached by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) to deliver a training programme and teaching was confirmed with CVUHB just last Friday. In less than four days, the team managed to plan and implement the unique programme for NHS practitioners.
Training is being offered in a flexible way but consists of two-full days of teaching and simulation that covers areas such as safety procedures, airway assessment, and ventilation and cardiovascular assessment.
Staff delivering the training all have a background in critical care. One new staff member in particular, Sian Pritchard, splits her working week between teaching undergraduate students and providing care at the University Hospital of Wales’ ICU.
Dr Anna Jones, a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University who is heading up the programme, said;
“We recognise our professional responsibility, especially in times like these and we want to support our incredible NHS workforce and colleagues in whatever way we can. The staff from the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board are really stepping up to the mighty challenges that this virus brings.
It is humbling to see their dedication and willingness to do everything they can to help others. We hope this training will reinforce their already advanced skills, so that they can feel as prepared as possible if they are ever called upon to care for patients in intensive care.”
The first day of training was received positively by attendees with one nurse stating;
“Today’s session was really informative about relevant topics. It has certainly made me feel more confident about the situations we may face”.
The critical care training is not the only way in which the School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University is helping to support the NHS at this difficult time. The School has donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the University Hospital Wales and at the beginning of next month will begin re-training Nurses, who have previously left the practice, so that they can re-join the NHS workforce. Meanwhile, the School’s Physiotherapy Academics are carrying out key respiratory work in further efforts to support the NHS.
Cardiff University staff members currently delivering critical care training:
Jo Owen, Pete Smith and Wayne Cole, Dr Anna Jones, Neil Thomas, Richard Hellyar, Sian Pritchard, Dr Catherine Dunn, Paul Hennessey, Nelson Selvaraj, Dr Ray Samuriwo, Anthony Pritchard, Andy Parry and Dr Paul Gill. Supported by Head of Nursing, Sue Ward.