We caught up with Jacqui Jeffery, a Clinical Nurse Educator with the NaMES team, to find out more about the delivery of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) training throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
How important is your role as an educator when it comes to PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The NaMES education team has worked really hard to collaborate on the creation of PPE training sessions for all patient-facing employees at Monash Health as part of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
We have played a pivotal role in ensuring employees, across a range of disciplines, have received face-to-face training on the safe application and removal of PPE.
These practical training sessions are necessary for them to consolidate their online learning and provide an opportunity for clarification and provide key messages.
In terms of volume, how many nurses and midwives have been trained in the correct use of PPE in the past couple of months?
The NaMES team has helped coordinate and facilitate the delivery of training to more than 7,278 employees. In addition to nurses and midwives, this figure includes those working as security staff, in support services, ward clerks, Pharmacy etc.
Can you briefly explain how the process was rolled out?
It has been a collaborative effort.
Initial consultations with Infection Prevention were vital for establishing accurate and consistent key messages and learning outcomes for the development and delivery of training sessions.
Providing training to all patient-facing employees across Monash Health is a big task. The NaMES education team, with the support of managers from a range of disciplines, recruited and trained local area super users, who have been instrumental in supporting this training process, which included:
- An updated online learning package and video for all employees to complete.
- Face-to-face PPE sessions rolled out across all sites at set times of the day, seven days a week. Sessions were also run multiple times a day on the clinical units to train all required employees.
- An online quiz developed by Monash Doctors Education for employees to access and complete.
All of these resources are available on the education page of the employee coronavirus website.
Under the guidance of Infection Prevention, the NaMES team continues to support super users and employees by providing regular feedback and updates on the latest PPE information.
What have been the biggest challenges?
Delivering training in very short time frames and staying aware of changes with PPE have been challenging.
The evolving situation and varied information and communication have at times, created frustration and anxiety in employees. It has been a real challenge to ensure that they are updated about changes quickly.
The team has remained calm and adapted to this, being flexible with communication and changes, and keeping employee safety and support as our priority.
Delivering ‘virtual’ face-to-face PPE sessions in spaces while ensuring that physical distancing is maintained, has definitely proved challenging.
What strategies or techniques have you implemented to overcome these hurdles?
Open, honest and transparent communication with everyone has been paramount.
Acknowledging, sometimes, that answers are not known and that work is being done by many to deliver these accurately, has been challenging to communicate to employees and provide them with support, although we always encourage everyone to be agile in this evolving and fluctuating time.
Providing training in such a dynamic space requires techniques that empower individuals to take ownership of their professional development, provide the motivation to stay up-to-date and direct people to resources that contain the latest information, which the NaMES team has led extremely well.
How satisfying has it been to contribute in this way?
Working collaboratively across disciplines and coming together as a bigger team has been rewarding.
Whilst PPE training is not the most technically difficult information to teach, it is arguably one of the most significant during this pandemic. Ultimately, this training is essential to saving lives. To maintain our workforce, and in order to continue to provide exceptional patient care, we must ensure we all stay safe and well.
In addition to delivering the training, how important has it been to provide emotional support and reassurance?
In the beginning, this was difficult. There were lots of mixed messages and heightened anxiety around availability and the requirements while the tiers of PPE were clarified.
It was important to show trust in our infection prevention experts to make the right decisions on our behalf. Remaining calm, being empathetic to employees and sharing the burden together has been necessary to help reassure and support everyone.
Facilitating education to groups of people can be very intimidating, so the super users have done a fantastic job in stepping up to this role. I would like to give a shout out of thanks to all those who have taken on these roles.
Approved by Katrina Nankvervis