Nurses at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust are often able to take part in special study days designed to enhance their skills.
One of the most recent sessions, run several times throughout the year, gave them the opportunity to take part in an interactive day learning more about patients requiring non-invasive ventilation (NIV) and tracheostomy, A tracheostomy is an opening created at the front of the neck so a tube can be inserted into the windpipe (trachea) to help you breathe.
Clinical Nurse Educator, Ruth Butler said: “The study sessions are structured utilising a mix of teaching approaches which include lectures, skills stations and simulation. The faculty consists of a range of clinical experts such as medical Consultants, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Clinical Nurse Educators, Speech and Language Therapists, Respiratory Physiologists and patient representatives.
“Delivery of teaching by clinical experts who are working in practice provides credibility and relevance to the sessions. In addition fostering a multidisciplinary team approach widens the students understanding of the community of practice related to this specialist subject throughout the organisation.”
Feedback from one attendee said: “I thought the day provided a good mix of theory and practice: All of us attending the study session work in clinical practice areas where we care for tracheostomy patients or those undergoing NIV therapy. Working in small groups meant we all had the opportunity to build on our existing clinical skills and knowledge, and the hands-on experience of practicing procedures on the simulation dummies was incredibly useful.”
Ruth continued: “The study sessions have been designed to meet the organisational needs by developing clinical practitioners who can provide safe competent care which will ultimately increase the chance of a positive patient experience. The resources were developed using local organisational policies, national clinical practice guidance and determined by review of the hospitals clinical incidents involving tracheostomy patients and patients receiving NIV therapy.
“The feedback and evaluations from staff who have attended the study sessions is always extremely positive and the one session that is always very positively evaluated is the skills station delivered by the ‘Lary Club’. This is a group of three previous Royal Berkshire patients who have had larygectomies formed. A laryngectomy is the removal of the larynx and separation of the airway from the mouth, nose and oesophagus. The laryngectomee breathes through an opening in the neck known as a stoma.”
Bob Razey, from the Lary Club explained: “Our main aim is to demystify larygectomy patients and provide the staff with the opportunity to ask questions that when in clinical practice they may not feel comfortable asking.
“A recent experience of mine at the hospital definitely displayed the value of these sessions when I heard a nurse who had been at the session sharing her knowledge with a colleague.
“A little later she also popped her head round the curtain to say hello as she recognised my voice. It was a great comfort to me to know that one of the nurses looking after me was so informed about larys.”