Since the outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) emerged in the UK, the University of South Wales’s Clinical Simulation Centre has played a key role in the effort to fight the pandemic.
The Centre is helping to prepare nurses from USW’s local health board partner organisations to care for individuals who are seriously ill. The training sessions were held at the request of Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW), who support NHS Wales with training, education and workforce development needs.
As part of the training, nurses who have a varied range of experience in caring for patients in Intensive Care Units have been able to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of working in this highly specialised area of nursing.
Matthew Thornton, Head of Practice-based Learning at USW, said: “Given the nature of coronavirus and the numbers of people affected, it is likely that we will see relatively high numbers of people requiring specialist care.
“The Simulation Centre and its staff are a unique asset, and we’re proud to be able to help support our NHS during this extremely difficult time.”
USW has also provided vital PPE (personal protective equipment) to Cwm Taf University Health Board, to be used by staff at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
In total, the University has supplied plastic aprons, surgical face masks, protective goggles, Tuffie disinfectant wipes, Clinell infection control wipes and surgical gloves – all of which would normally be used by students for their simulated learning.
Bridie Jones, Head of Professional Practice & Development for the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, said: “NHS Staff are under tremendous pressure at the moment, trying to cope with the far-reaching health effects of coronavirus and many require PPE. Staff from the Medical Sciences, Nursing and Midwifery courses have worked together to supply Cwm Taf UHB with a wide range of equipment.”
As well as staff training and the donation of PPE, USW staff have used the Centre’s facilities to help produce a training video for Phillips Healthcare, who are in the process of producing large numbers of ventilators – specialist equipment used to treat a patient when their own respiratory system fails.
Phillips are producing a range of free training videos to staff using their equipment, so that they have the most up-to-date skills on how to maximise their equipment. The videos will be available to staff based all over the world.
Training videos for other specialist equipment to support people in breathing (CPAP) have also been developed by the USW team at the Centre, at the request of local partner organisations.