Westmead equips nurses with COVID-19 safety training

Proactive partnerships and innovative training techniques have paved the way to further protect staff at Westmead Health Precinct during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the NSW Biopreparedness team at Westmead Hospital have partnered with the University of Sydney to quickly develop a sequence of instructional videos, which focus on the all-important safety process of donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19.

Clinical nurse consultant Ruth Barratt, nurse educators Mary Wyer, Nicole Bohlken and Stephanie Toovey, and the University’s innovative technologies manager Martin Brown collaborated to develop and produce the video series.

“Frontline staff need to be precise in how they use PPE to ensure their safety,” said Martin. “These videos have been developed specially for the COVID-19 response so staff training is up to date with the latest information we have about how the virus is transmitted.”

Martin said several videos were shot to cater for the variable PPE needed for different types of care. He said a short “snapshot” version of each video was also created as a refresher to meet growing needs in the current crisis.

“The snapshot video can be used as a quick checklist by staff who are already skilled in using PPE, saving time and supporting their safety.” 

Mary said the videos offered several advantages over traditional training methods including that valuable PPE could be saved for clinical use, rather than used in training activities.

“Physical distancing requirements and high demand for PPE has created challenges for delivering face-to-face training for nurses,” she said. “By using these videos in our staff training we can deliver accessible and relevant content in this rapidly-changing environment.”

Ruth said the videos were a useful tool in meeting an urgent high demand for PPE training in the response to COVID-19 at the Westmead Health Precinct.

“The COVID-19 pandemic requires a coordinated response,” she said. “We’ve brought together expertise from the University of Sydney and the Biopreparedness team to support the safety and educational needs of frontline health staff.”

For more information, contact Ruth Barratt at ruth.barratt@health.nsw.gov.au.