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YONM 2020 | Nurses Becoming Trainers

Florence Nightingale was, among many other things, a trainer of nurses during a war. In 2020/21 her spirit was honoured through a comprehensive training initiative for stroke and emergency nurses in Eastern Europe.

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Last year, a pandemic brought more patients than usual to hospitals worldwide. It did not stop other diseases and pathologies, like stroke, from taking healthcare workers’ time and effort. Therefore, a group of Angels consultants decided to create an international, comprehensive and personalized training for stroke and emergency nurses from 9 countries: Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, and Belarus. 

The International Nurse Training was held to improve the knowledge and skills of nursing staff in departments for patients with acute cerebrovascular accident. It aimed to boost the knowledge of different aspects of stroke management, and facilitate the decision making with obstacles nurses can face daily.

To take part in the International Nurse training, nurses had to first complete the “Stroke Nurse Certification” eLearning from the Angels Initiative Website. The International Nurse training consisted of four 2-hour sessions held on 4 different days for each country.

Apart from specific stroke knowledge, there was also information on ICU intensive therapy, the correct nutritional support for patients, a hands-on demonstration on the placement and care of probes & catheters, as well as administrative and psychological self-management. The courses were presented by neurologists, psychologists, rehabilitation therapists, nurses and other local specialists from these countries, especially for adapting the sessions to be applicable to the local legal environment. In order to make this training with such diverse audience and content, it required the support of many people – including great teamwork on the technical side. Several innovations were implemented: simultaneous translations were available in different languages and offered whenever it was needed.

The consultants created and managed group chats for each country in a couple of messaging platforms, where trainees could find information about the training, the schedule, homework assessments and other useful materials. They could also ask questions to speakers directly, who remained available for them along with the Angels consultants.

However, the main innovation were the live-streamed masterclasses, in which not the knowledge was not only presented but also physically demonstrated. This made the training more interactive and interesting for nurses, according to their feedback and active participation. It made the information provided simpler to understand and retain. These sessions were organized and streamed from the ICDC Hospital in the Russian city of Kazan.

It all began with a meeting of the Steering Committee, which includes representatives from all countries – such as chief specialists, heads of the ministries of health, and senior nurses. The structure and content of the training were worked out from the point of view of what is really necessary for the work of the nursing staff, taking into account the real demands of specialists and the team.

Nurses who completed the course each received an Angels Initiative ESO-endorsed certificate of completion of the training.

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Apart from participating in all 4 training modules, the 15 chosen nurses per country had to participate in discussions, complete tasks and correctly answer at least 80% of the final test questions. For the seven groups that have already completed the course, an average of a little more than half of the nurses passed the test. Those that could not pass after multiple attempts will have Q&A sessions available explaining the most difficult questions in order to successfully retake the test. These most difficult questions were the same for all the countries. Therefore, as a learning experience for the Angels team, the questions will be part of polling questions in future sessions, so the participants have the answers fresh in mind with the possibility of solving additional doubts.

This has been an amazing experience but is still an ongoing project for both the organizers and the nurses. Both sides have committed to follow-up on the implementation of this new knowledge in their hospitals – as part of the Angels community. 

The interaction has reiterated the benefit of creating a place for nurses in national stroke conferences, of giving them a stage and voice for them to be able to propose and implement the changes in the protocols for better stroke patient care.

Read more about this training initiative in a new story that will appear on our website in September. 

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