UEA develops online intensive care course ahead of Covid-19 second wave

A new virtual resource to prepare doctors, nurses and other health professionals for a potential second wave of Covid-19 has been developed by teams at UEA and the James Paget University Hospital.

The online course incorporates a range of features designed to introduce non-critical care staff to the critical care setting.

It includes a 360-degree virtual tour of a typical intensive care unit (ICU) ward with demonstrations of the technology and equipment used to care for patients.

Topics covered include patient care, resuscitation, airway and respiratory management, circulation, patient assessment, technical skills and psychological care.

It has been designed for nurses, doctors and senior medical students wanting to pursue a long-term career in critical care medicine.

Prof Jerome Pereira, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “This course is primarily aimed at upskilling staff to meet the challenges posed by a potential second wave of Covid-19 in the UK, but will have application in other countries where the disease is currently active and widespread.

“In the long term this innovative and interactive programme will prove immensely useful for clinical staff and medical students to orientate themselves when posted to the highly charged intensive care setting.”

The resource was commissioned by leaders of the Local Workforce Action Board for the Norfolk and Waveney Health & Care Partnership.

It comes after a recent British Medical Association study showed a significant lack of confidence among doctors to manage patient demand if there is a second peak of Covid-19.

The course is designed to be interactive and engaging with a blended learning approach that has been tried and tested over a decade at postgraduate level both in the UK and worldwide. 

It allows flexible access to Covid-19 and critical care teaching materials, and promotes decision making in patient management with instant feedback to student performance.

The online educational material is also applicable for future challenges to critical care practice within the NHS.

Anna Morgan, Director of Workforce, Norfolk & Waveney Healthcare Partnership and chair of the Local Workforce Action Board, said: “We are delighted with the enthusiasm and speed at which this programme has been developed to support our staff at this challenging time.

“This programme is innovative and appreciates the different learning styles and needs of our NHS staff, it offers a much more flexible way of gaining new knowledge and skills and is excellent in providing an opportunity for staff to acclimatise themselves to Critical Care and build their confidence. We have ambitions to build on this methodology to support the needs of our future workforce across health and care.”  

To find out more visit www.medtrainingonline.org and click the 'register' button to create an account. Once on the site, click 'take me to the course' then 'enrol me' to access the new course.

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