James Paget University Hospital develops new intensive care course

Teams at James Paget University Hospital and the University of East Anglia have developed a new online 3-D learning resource for doctors, nurses and other health professionals in preparation for a potential second wave of Covid-19 admissions.

The new online resource has been developed by a team consisting of senior critical care doctors, nurses, nursing educationalists and e-learning technologists.

The University of East Anglia’s online postgraduate programmes developed by Professors Sam Leinster and Jerome Pereira and their team have formed the basis of this new educational approach.

The course aims to prepare clinicians and hospitals for a potential second wave of Covid-19 admissions to ICU and critical care services.

A recent British Medical Association study highlighted the need for such a course, where the findings showed a significant lack of confidence amongst doctors of the ability to manage patient demand if Covid-19 again peaks.

The course incorporates a range of features designed to serve as a helpful introduction for non-critical care staff to orientate themselves prior to, or when returning to, the critical care setting.

The course aims to prepare non-critical care staff to work within the critical care setting.

It delivers thought provoking formative exercises to promote application of evidence-based knowledge and decision making for key areas of critical care practice.

It brings together of a range of pre-existing materials from trusted locations, such as e-learning for healthcare (E-LfH), hospitals and Government, making them accessible from a single location.

The course orientates staff with a 360-degree virtual tour of a typical ICU ward with tech and equipment demos.

360 video has been created using cutting edge filming technology to be viewed on a computer screen, with plans to make the footage viewable via VR headset.

The educational topics covered include patient care, resuscitation, airway and respiratory management, circulation, patient assessment, technical skills and psychological care.

The course is designed with a blending learning approach, utilising digital technology to enhance existing on-site information.

Blending learning is a tried and tested approach in higher education for several years now.

Anna Morgan, Director of Workforce, Norfolk & Waveney Healthcare Partnership and chair of the Local Workforce Action Board, said:

“We are delighted with the enthusiasm and speed at which this programme has been developed to support our staff at this challenging time.

“This programme is innovative and appreciates the different learning styles and needs of our NHS staff, it offers a much more flexible way of gaining new knowledge and skills and is excellent in providing an opportunity for staff to acclimatise themselves to Critical Care and build their confidence.

“We have ambitions to build on this methodology to support the needs of our future workforce across health and care.”

Course Development Lead Professor Jerome Pereira says:

“This course is primarily aimed at upskilling staff to meet the challenges posed by a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the UK, but will have application in other countries where the disease is currently active and widespread.

“In the long term this innovative and interactive programme will prove immensely useful for clinical staff and medical students to orientate themselves when posted to the highly charged intensive care setting.”

Dr Josip Stosic, Consultant in Critical Care Medicine, said:

“The biggest strength of this course is the very deliberate integration of multi-professional learning by using novel educational methods.”

Sharon Crowle, Head of Education and Practice Development at the James Paget said:

“I am very excited to see the launch of this new critical care blended learning. It provides a fantastic resource to support staff new to this area and provides a wonderful platform that learners can use to increase understanding of this environment.  

“There has been a great need to nationally to redeploy health care staff to critical care and this resource can support staff with this, it provides further resources for any increase in critical care services in the future due to COVID or for other reasons.”