Nurses respond to call to upskill to the ICU

As part of Monash Health’s pandemic response to COVID-19, our Nursing and Midwifery Education and Strategy team, in partnership with our Critical Care Program, has been working hard to ensure our Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are ready to meet the needs of the predicted increase in demand for ICU nurses.

In early March, the team put out the call to all employees who were interested in returning or upskilling to work in the ICU and asked them to complete the Workforce Mobilisation Survey.  The team was overwhelmed with the over 300 employees who responded.

“It really showcases just how passionate and dedicated our employees are to helping the community and to continue to learn and build on their knowledge and skills,” said Karin White, Acting Director, Nursing & Midwifery Education and Strategy.

Employees enrolled in the program were required to complete ICU EMR training, LATTE training and two supernumerary shifts in the ICU at Monash Medical Centre or Dandenong Hospital.

Since the training commenced, more than 265 employees have completed their first supernumerary shift in ICU, and many of these employees are now beginning the process of booking in their second supernumerary shift.

Helen McCann, Nurse Manager at ICU Monash Medical Centre said “This preparation work is enormously important, especially in light of the experiences of workforces overseas. The window that we have as a result of flattening the curve has allowed us to welcome registered nurses from areas other than ICU to work with us for a day or more to familiarise themselves with ICU nursing practice.

“This means we can rapidly expand our ICU team in the coming months if we need to.

“The exchange of knowledge between ward and ICU nurses has been very constructive. The project has been highly successful and has helped to relieve some of the anxiety for nurses who may be needed during this pandemic,” Helen said.

To the ICU team supporting these shifts, the nurses who have volunteered to skill up, and everyone else involved, we say thank you and congratulations.

 Approved by Katrina Nankervis, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Executive Director Residential Care and Support Services


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