Adapting training methods to meet healthcare worker needs in a pandemic
Mrs Kate Smith1,2
1GAMA Healthcare, Melbourne, Australia
2University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia
As frontline care providers, healthcare workers play a critical role in controlling infections such as COVID-19. This necessitates an understanding of environmental cleaning and its role in the transmission of this disease. Our challenge was to meet the increased need for training, whilst adhering to COVID restrictions.
We reviewed the increasing need for training and support and how to disseminate this important messaging. Starting with the immediate need, facilities that until now did not have cleaning and disinfection as a high priority, we produced two short videos. The first identifying the correct application of cleaning product and the second illustrating five principles of cleaning. These videos could be integrated into facility intranets or viewed on any device from laptop to smartphone. Online training was offered. Short sessions outlining how, when and why. Participants could view these from multiple rooms, sites and districts, ensuring consistent messaging, whilst maintaining physical distancing.
Our animation series was overwhelmingly successful with over 3,500 views recorded in 2020, plus multiple facilities downloading these onto their internal systems. The remote short presentation were also widely accepted. On analysis – although different in format, and to some degree content, our total number of staff training in 2020, was almost identical to that of 2019.
SARS-CoV-2 bought many challenges. One of which was providing effective training and support, whilst adhering to strict COVID-19 restrictions. Our training options overcame this obstacle and ensured healthcare staff received the support and information required during this pandemic.
A Conjoint Fellow of the School of Nursing and Midwifery College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing – University of Newcastle, Kate holds certificates in Midwifery, Oncology, Hyperbaric, Infusion Nursing, and Adult Training and Assessment. Experienced in a wide range of disciplines gained over 35 years in nursing, much of her professional life has incorporated staff development and patient education, but first and foremost, she is an advocate for improving patient care.
Kate has presented at both ACIPC and APSIC and has been instrumental in developing new and innovative learning platforms to enhance infection prevention knowledge for healthcare workers.