Back in July, ANMF (Vic Branch) launched our Acute Care Refresher Program with a plan for quarterly delivery. Demand for the program has proved so popular that we have instead been running the program monthly since July. Our January 2024 program is now fully booked and the February and March programs are filling fast.
We have also increased the class size to 16 (from 12 initially), with two educators in the Sim Lab – meaning the classes have a 1:8 (teacher: student) ratio for a high-quality student experience. This has proved especially useful with practice clinical skills such as IV medications, patient controlled analgesia (PCAs), ECGs etc.
One of the program highlights is the use of Tag Team simulation to capture the complex scenarios that can happen in the general ward environment, which provides participants with plenty of practice in thinking on your feet, and drawing on the knowledge you do have but may have not used regularly in non-acute settings. Tag Team simulation provides opportunities to explore, share and compare problem-solving skills, as well as drawing on critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills for the many time-critical moments that happen in the acute care environment.
Our Tag Team scenarios cover:
- cultural safety and diversity
- recognising and responding to clinical deterioration
- de-escalation of OVA for the prevention of physical and chemical restraints for restrictive practices that are sometimes used in acute care.
Feedback on the programs has been positive as well, with participants valuing the opportunity not just to learn or refresh skills – and to practice and apply them in real-world situations – but to network and interact with other nurses.
‘I found the course really comprehensive,’ said one participant. ‘Role play in the lab was great, as were the discussions and reflections afterwards.’
Course coordinator Cam-Tu Do has also received praise. ‘Cam is so knowledgeable and was able to explain systems assessments and clinical decision-making in a really clear way that makes it easy to understand. She also gave lots of examples, which simplified the theory.’
Programs run so far have welcomed participants aged from their mid-20s to their late 60s, from health services across the state, both public and private. Participants have included registered nurses, enrolled nurses, maternal & child health nurses, midwives, NUMs and graduates, with current specialities ranging from aged care, palliative care, agency and community health to corrections, mental health and midwifery.
Asked what they would do differently in their workplaces following the course, previous participants have said:
- Be more hands on performing clinical assessments of residents. Implement education around handover to ensure clinical handover is more consistent and refers to ISOBAR handover. Not be influenced by others’ opinions and rely more on clinical assessment and reasoning.
- Be able to go back to a hospital setting. Better evaluate clients in my current role in community and when I return to acute. Have more confidence in assessments and continuing to improve my knowledge and understanding.
- Management of IV lines (infection control practices have changed since last working acutely). Approaching my work confidently.
With the success of these programs, the Branch will explore the potential to also offer a refresher program for midwives in 2024. Keep an eye on Branch communications for more.
Visit anmfvic.asn.au/acuterefresher for details and to register.