The Edge of Health

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Healthcare Simulation Week 14th – 18th 2020, Helen Henderson, Head of Simulation and Skills Education shares her experiences and optimism for the future.

A year ago during Healthcare Sim Week 2019 we were busy getting ready to move into our new Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre here at Edge Hill University and for those of you who can remember Derek, he was busy packing and looking forward to finally getting into in his new home.

Enjoy the rest of this story at: https://youtu.be/ally9gNL0SI

The Role of the Facilitator during COVID-19

Our Simulation and Clinical Skills Facilitator, Agnieszka Sumera, talks about how her role has adapted in the current climate.

I have been experiencing a lot of challenges and opportunities at the same time during the pandemic.

Due to this new situation, I can no longer work in the way I used to before the pandemic

This new situation meant that I have had to adapt to new ways of working.

I continued to hold meetings where we planned future simulation sessions for students returning. I also delivered virtual development sessions for the staff members with an aim to carry on with my objectives to work on improving the standards of simulation at our institution.

Several measures were put in place to prepare the Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre. Students and staff are sent guidance and instructions before they attend simulation sessions. Session scheduling is more complex than usual too with a restricted number of students allowed at the centre. We run more simulation days with fewer people attending.

We were working very hard to make our Centre safe to be used again, and we did it!

On 28th April, we brought in the first NHS staff to engage with simulation scenarios based on COVID-19.

Scenarios were based on infection control, symptoms recognition, leadership, patient transfer, teamwork, communication and decision-making. F1 and F2 doctors improved on the systems and development of new standard operating procedures and policies needed to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

I learned a lot from aspects of the crisis experience which helped me to develop plans on how to use simulation to prepare organisations and healthcare students to respond to the unexpected and extraordinary situation in the future.

In July, nursing students returned and engaged in simulation scenarios on recognising signs of deteriorating patient, good communication, teamwork, using NEWS2 and  SBAR.
PA students completed simulation scenarios practising mental state examination, professional communication, conflict resolution and nutrition assessment.

Simulation-based education proves to be exceptionally useful at the time like this. Through the use of our facilities, we can continue to provide high-quality and safe education, as well as offer some help to the new or returning NHS staff.

Agnieszka Sumera

Simulation and Clinical Skills Facilitator

An brief insight into the role of Ian Ballard, Senior Simulation and Skills Technician

See below a short demonstration of how Ian introduces how the manikin is connected and controlled remotely from the external control room for taking pulse, blood pressure readings etc

https://youtu.be/YEf2TlEEcuY

Clinical Simulation Sessions during COVID19 – setting up the ‘Simbulance’ at St James’ Manchester

As we described in a previous blog, the biggest change to our practical sessions has been student numbers. Luke Hinchliffe, Simulation and Skills Support Assistant based at St James’ Manchester demonstrates how he cleans the ‘simulation ambulance’ before and after every session.

Luke says, in the past there would be maybe 4 or 5 students alongside the tutor in the back of the ambulance but now, due to social distancing guidelines, we can only allow 2 students at a time and they will have to wear full PPE due to the small space although the lab itself is quite large and is well ventilated.

Find out more about our facility at St James’ Manchester here

Clinical Skills Sessions during COVID19

As the staff and students begin to trickle back to a ‘new normal’ way teaching and learning, I met with Beth Spencer, one of our Clinical Skills Support Co-ordinators to find out how setting up and breaking down sessions has changed as new COVID measures are introduced.

Beth explains that the biggest challenge is the decrease in the number of students able to practice skills at any one time. ‘We would regularly have 10 to 20 students per session but now we can only accommodate a maximum of 6 around any workstation’

Other changes include the following:

  • All staff, students and visitors are asked to wash their hands upon entering the building and are encouraged to use the hand sanitisers located throughout.
  • The doors all remain open to avoid touching the handles.
  • The windows remain open to provide ventilation, however there is air conditioning units in all rooms which provide freshly circulate air from outside.
  • All staff and students must wear PPE which is provided upon entering the room, this includes a disposable apron, gloves and face mask. All PPE equipment is disposed of and students wash their hands before leaving the room.
  • Students only bring the equipment needed for the session, all other belongings are left in lockers.
  • The surfaces and all equipment are fully sanitised before and after each session. Alongside Facilities Management staff who regularly clean the building throughout the day.
  • The room is then aired for an hour after each session and before the next group of students are allowed in.
  • To further help with social distancing, each floor of the building is on staggered start times so traffic on the corridors and in communal areas is kept to a minimum.

Watch as Beth demonstrates setting up equipment for day to day clinical skills sessions such as venepuncture, injection technique, cannulation and catheterisation in the clinical skills labs.

https://youtu.be/Px1-jAf7u14

Celebrating Healthcare Simulation Week 14th – 18th September at Edge Hill University

Simulation is a practice learning technique used at Edge Hill University to enhance the confidence and skills of our Health and Social Care students. It is a technique which aims to replicate ‘real-life’ patient scenarios, providing a safe space in which students can work together and demonstrate their skills in an immersive and controlled environment.

Simulation and Skills Education is based within our Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre at our Ormskirk Campus, alongside St James’ in Manchester City Centre and facilities at Alder Hey’s Institute in the Park. You can learn more about our Simulation and Skills Education facilities below:

Alder Hey Institute in the Park

Healthcare Simulation Week was created to celebrate the work of global professionals who use simulation and to raise awareness nationwide about how healthcare simulation is leading to safer patient care.

You can follow along with Healthcare Simulation Week 2020 at Edge Hill University on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels linked below.

Don’t forget to check out the full Healthcare Simulation Week campaign too, by following @HcSimWeek and #HcSimWeek20 on Twitter!

Facebook 👉 https://www.facebook.com/EHUFHSCM/

Twitter 👉 https://twitter.com/EHU_FHSCM

Instagram 👉 https://www.instagram.com/ehu_fhscm/

Claire presents RIF project findings in Berlin

Congratulations to Lecturer in Nutrition and Health, Dr Claire Blennerhassett who visited Berlin earlier this year to present the findings of a RIF project in collaboration with Dr Michael Richards and Dr Fiona Hallet, entitled ‘Parents perceptions of the challenges and barriers to implementing a parent led intervention for food selectivity in children with Autism’.

As a result of a successful application to the Student Opportunity Fund, BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Health Student, Elizabeth Edge was involved in producing the abstract, which was accepted and has been acknowledged in the authors of the poster.

The Student Quality Ambassador Programme (SQA)

The Student Quality Ambassador programme is an NHS North West Initiative for healthcare students to promote best practice and quality initiatives within the workplace, challenging the current standards of care. The programme runs across the whole of the North West, providing students from a range of different universities with the opportunity to role model and positively affect the quality of healthcare.

Students who are involved with the Student Quality Ambassador programme share best practice between them, and contribute to innovation through regular meet ups, supporting their peers in presentations, conferences and events. The programme forms a region-wide collaboration of Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) and Service Providers to work with students with a focus on promoting their projects with care and compassion in the health and social care sector.

So what exactly does a Student Quality Ambassador do?

Previous Student Quality Ambassadors have been involved with a variety of projects to improve patient care. For example, the ’15 Steps Toolkit’, Audits, Mock Inspections and becoming Dementia Friends. But it doesn’t stop there! As a Student Quality Ambassador, students are provided with the opportunity to develop their own ideas from what inspires them. An example of this includes the ‘Are You a Veteran?’ project from one of our very own Edge Hill SQA’s.

Student Name: Karen Vernon
Project Name: Are you a Veteran?

Are you a Veteran? Is a project developed on the SQA programme by Mental Health Student Nurses, Karen Vernon and Natalie Matthews. Running alongside the organisation Veterans in Sefton, Karen and Natalie started working to implement and create awareness around Mental Health support services available to Veterans and their families.

Now leading on the project, Karen Vernon aims to involve Healthcare Professionals and further support services to stop and ask the question, ‘Are you a Veteran?’ during routine and emergency medical appointments. She hopes to develop a greater understanding of Veterans within the Health and Social Care sector, so that signposting and delivering care can be provided as best as possible.

This was demonstrated at a recent World Mental Health Day conference hosted at Edge Hill University, whereby Karen presented her project and signposted to relevant support services. Karen also facilitated guest speakers from Veteran’s in Sefton to speak at the conference about Mental Health in the Forces.

Karen’s goal is to raise awareness for Veteran’s Mental Health and work with healthcare providers to provide tailored support.

Karen Vernon (Left) and Natalie Matthews (Right) with Veterans in Sefton.

As referenced on the Student Quality Ambassador website, members of the SQA programme regularly engage the following:

  • Undertake practice based learning and feel empowered to champion and highlight good practice
  • Challenge areas of practice requiring development
  • Show leadership and motivation for themselves and other students, including being test subjects for innovations such as trialling the use of Standardised Numeracy Assessment Project (SNAP), Values and Behaviours assessment tools and e-learning projects
  • Work alongside and liaise between Practice Areas, Practice Education Facilitators, Higher Education Institutions, Students, Service Users/Patients and Carers, and further Professionals

So, are you up for the challenge?

If you’re a current Edge Hill student studying Health, Social Care or Medicine and would like to get involved, please click here to download the Student Quality Ambassador programme brochure and apply online.

National Fitness Day 2019

When we talk about exercise we usually refer to the physical health benefits: increased levels of cardiovascular fitness, muscle gain, fat loss etc. but what we often overlook is the impact exercise can have on our Mental Health.

Today (Wednesday 25th September) is National Fitness Day, and we’re focusing on celebrating the benefits that exercise can have on our Mental Health and Wellbeing.

🌟 Exercise makes us feel happier

When we exercise our bodies release endorphins, which are chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system. Endorphins create feelings of happiness and euphoria, which can boost our mental wellbeing!

🚨 Exercise can help reduce stress levels

Did you know that exercise can help manage mental stress? Norepinephrine is a chemical within the body which moderates the brain’s response to stress, and exercising can increase it’s concentration. This means that working out can actually reduce stress levels and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension.

🌙 Exercise can help us catch more Zzz’s

Physical exercise is tiring! And when we feel more tired at the end of the day we sleep better, and often deeper. Sleeping helps us to recover from mental as well as physical exertion, so making sure we catch enough Zz’s is super important!

💥 Exercise can boost brainpower

Cardiovascular exercise (such as jogging/rowing/dancing etc.) can create new neurogenesis (brain cells) and this can improve overall brain performance. Did you know that a challenging workout can actually increase your levels of brain-derived protein? Known as BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), this protein in the body is believed to help with decision making, thinking and learning.

So there you have it!

Exercising regularly can benefit our bodies in many ways – mentally and physically. So why not take today as an opportunity to head outside, enjoy the fresh air, and take part in #NationalFitnessDay 2019!

Helen Henderson | Head of Simulation and Skills Education

Helen Henderson is our new Head of Simulation and Skills Education here at Edge Hill University. We caught up with Helen to learn more about her role here at EHU, and discover what the future may hold for our university in terms of Healthcare Simulation.

Who am I?

I have been really fortunate to recently join Edge Hill University as Head of Simulation and Skills Education. I have over 20 years of simulation experience with the last 5 years spent working abroad in a large simulation centre.

Why Edge Hill University?

The Faculty of Health, Social Care & Medicine is involved in delivering a wide variety of programmes many of which have already incorporated simulation and skills into them. This can already be seen for example in the ODP, Midwifery, Nursing and Paramedic programmes. In addition, the University has significantly invested in the development of the new Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre which will be open very soon. This not only gives us the opportunity to have more simulation but will help in enabling more collaboration and interprofessional learning opportunities. It is a really exciting time being part of the Simulation and Skills Education team at EHU.

Why is Simulation-based education important?

It enables learners to practice (repeatedly) in a safe environment where they can make mistakes, reflect on what happened and learn, without causing any harm to patients. Ultimately it increases patient safety and helps learners to become more competent and confident in their knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Why do I like simulation?

If used correctly simulation is an effective teaching method with a growing body of research evidence support. It really does help to link the theory to practice and once learners get over the initial apprehension they can see the benefit and tend to want more. It is a challenging, but fun and engaging way to learn.

What’s next?

We move from our current skills facilities to the new building in the next week, so Beth and Hayley are busy packing up whilst classes are still ongoing. I don’t think they will ever want to move to a new house after this! Then it will be all the unpacking including all the new equipment. That will be fun and a bit like Christmas as we will get to play with all the new toys, sorry patient simulators and software, including the new management system.
After that we have the students in from the 30th September, tours, open days, a welcome evening in October and all the staff in the faculty have a staff study day in November which is focusing on skills and simulation this time. Once our team is fully on board we will start to offer faculty development sessions, but whatever we are doing (including Derek and his family) we will share through the simulation and skills community.

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