Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nurses' Workshop...

The Welbodi Partnership is privileged to have a pediatric nurse from the United Kingdom volunteering with Welbodi at the Children’s Hospital for two months. The first month was spent assessing the nurses on the wards and working alongside them in a mentorship capacity. This provided an opportunity to work with the Sierra Leonean nurses one-on-one and transfer knowledge and skills to them individually. As the days went by it was clear that a number of key areas of nursing needed to be addressed in a collective manner.

A four-day workshop was organized by the pediatric nurse trainer for all of the nurses at the Children’s Hospital to attend. The nurses were split into four groups and each group attended a full day of the workshop. The nurse trainer, a professor in pediatrics and trainers from the School of Nursing taught on various topics including professionalism and responsibilities of a nurse, monitoring vital signs, oxygen therapy, medication safety, fluid balance and documentation. Teaching varied from lectures, interactive group sessions, live demonstrations and case scenarios. The workshop also included a lovely lunch prepared by the hospital kitchen and soft drinks; both are definite musts for a successful Sierra Leonean workshop. Certificates of participation also play an important part in Sierra Leonean nurses and so each nurse will accept a certificate with pride.

In total, 81 nurses were present at the workshop and found it to be very educational. They were eager to learn and requested for more workshops in the future. They were given the opportunity to make known what barriers they felt were keeping them from being able to perform optimally. They gave many suggestions and ideas as to how the hospital could help their performance as well as ideas on what they themselves can do to function better. The Welbodi Partnership will do its best to accommodate some of their suggestions in order to improve the quality of pediatric care at Ola During Children’s Hospital. Some examples are the provision of basic equipment such as thermometers and glucometer strips, provision of consumables such as soap and gloves, improving nurse attendance on the wards and more in-service training.

Welbodi’s next step is to measure the impact of the workshop and follow-up on the implementation of what was taught. The nurse trainer will spend time on each of the wards to ensure that the nurses are monitoring patients as discussed and documenting all of their actions. Welbodi will also adapt its existing ward bonus scheme to include checking up on the issues taught in the workshop. Welbodi Partnership hopes that the workshop has brought about a desire for change and that the nurses will work towards providing excellent care for their patients.

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