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Nurse training will transform care

11 October 2016

Professor Judith Hall

Cardiff University is joining forces with NHS Wales to offer life-saving specialist nurse training in Namibia that is unavailable across much of southern Africa.

The peri-operative care training of 24 nurses - in collaboration with the University of Namibia (UNAM) – seeks to transform care for patients before, during and after surgery.

Medical and nursing experts led by Cardiff University’s Professor Judith Hall and Dr Brian Jenkins, will deliver lectures and workshops from 25-27 October in the Namibian capital, Windhoek.

University of Namibia (Signage)

The training has been organised by Cardiff University’s Phoenix Project, an engagement project that works with UNAM and Welsh Government on a range of activities involving education, health, communication and science.

Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Hon Julieta Kavetuna, had personally asked Professor Hall to set up the specialist nurse training.

The training, involving specialist staff from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Cwm Taf University Health Board, takes place in a week that universities across the UK are being encouraged to celebrate their international work as part of the #WeAreInternational campaign.

Professor Hall, who is also Professor of Anaesthetics, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine at Cardiff University, said: “I’m delighted that the Phoenix Project is in a position to facilitate ground-breaking nurse training in Namibia alongside the Welsh NHS and UNAM.

“It’s the first time that Namibia has had specialist nurse training outside midwifery so it will really make a difference to the care that patients receive. In fact I hope it will be transformational.

“If you look elsewhere in southern Africa, this kind of training is only really available in South Africa.”

The peri-operative training will include training in techniques such as managing pain after operations, interpreting blood results and monitoring the respiratory system, very much boosting the skills and professional abilities of the nurses.

Nurse in Training

Nurses from across Namibia will attend the sessions, which will be held at the Medical School at UNAM and Windhoek Central Hospital.

Dr Tony Funnell, an anaesthetist at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, said: “I signed up primarily because peri-operative medicine is something I’m passionate about here in the University Hospital of Wales.

“I enjoy teaching and education and the Phoenix project represents a fantastic opportunity to combine the two.”

Professor Hall added: “It is about looking after patients during the whole surgical process from referral to discharge. The training will support medical delivery of surgery and anaesthesia."

"We aim to equip nurses with valuable skills and help put in place a process that guarantees patient safety.”

Professor Judith Hall Professor of Anaesthetics, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine. Phoenix Project Lead

Other Cardiff University staff that will also travel to Namibia in October to carry out work as part of the Phoenix Project include:

  • Dr Andrew Freedman, School of Medicine – clinical bedside procedures training
  • Victoria Sharley, Doctoral Researcher, School of Social Sciences – child neglect project
  • Professor Loredana Polezzi and Dr Luisa Percopo, School of Modern Languages – Namibian languages project
  • Catherine Camps, Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching and Learning team –Cardiff-Namibia mentoring scheme for new Diploma in Higher Education at UNAM

The Phoenix Project is one of Cardiff University’s flagship engagement projects, otherwise known as the Transforming Communities programme, which work with communities in Cardiff, Wales and beyond in areas including health, education and wellbeing.

Cardiff University is currently highlighting the success of its international activities as part of a campaign backed by more than 100 universities.

Universities across the UK are being encouraged to celebrate their international credentials during the #WeAreInternational campaign’s World Week (24-30 October).

#WeAreInternational was launched in 2013 to help ensure universities remain diverse and inclusive communities that are open to students and staff from across the world.

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