A huge amount of groundwork went into preparing all staff in Cavan General on how to care for patients with Covid-19 safely. Central to these preparations was training on the correct use of PPE by staff to maintain safety including; what to wear and when, and how to safely ‘don and doff’. Over 1,500 staff, both clinical and non-clinical, attended a comprehensive 1½ hr training session.
However, with changes in national guidance and the introduction of new PPE supplies, including the one-piece biohazard suit and different FFP masks, it became obvious that the best way to update and support staff was to have a number of PPE Advisors who would visit the wards and departments to update staff on the changes. The PPE Advisors clearly identifiable by the pink hi-viz vests they wore, carried out training in local clinical areas including the correct method to safely ‘don and doff’ the one piece suit. PPE Advisors included members of staff from the Infection Prevention & Control Team, Practice Development, Maternity and NMPD/CNM staff Ardee.
The road show was an extremely successful method to train people in their own clinical environments. It also enabled staff to communicate their concerns on different issues (which were often resolved by the advisors, or were escalated in a timely manner). It also enabled the advisors to update staff on changes throughout the hospital in ‘real time’.