“The best part of learning is sharing what you know”Vaughn K. Lauer, Author
What does COVID-19 mean for me?
How will COVID-19 affect my clinical practice?
How can I best support my patients?
And protect my own health?
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, my head has been filled with many questions. As a physiotherapist working in an acute hospital, I am used to caring for patients with respiratory conditions and am accustomed to working in a critical care setting.
However, that does not mean that I am any less daunted by this novel disease. From speaking to HSCP working in other settings across Ireland, I know I am not alone. The outbreak of COVID-19 is without a doubt a massive challenge for all HSCP, especially for our many colleagues who have been redeployed to unfamiliar roles in unfamiliar settings.
Thankfully, there is help out there! HSCP can and should harness the potential of online education and resource sharing to enable rapid upskilling.
The first stop for all HSCP on COVID-19 should be the HSE’s Health Protection and Surveillance Centre. As well as general guidance for health professionals, this site provides links to the current case count in Ireland, advice for the general public, and posters and resources for use in healthcare settings.
A video on the correct donning and doffing PPE is presented and is essential viewing for all frontline staff. This video can be found on hseland.ie along with further guidance on hand hygiene and infection control.
The WHO and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control also provide excellent general guidance and updates at an international and European level, while the Cochrane library and research journals listed below have COVID-19 resource centres with up-to-date and emerging research evidence.
For those HSCP deployed to manage patients in critical care and ICU, the Society of Critical Care Medicine provides a free online education programme: ‘Critical Care for Non-ICU Clinicians’.
The HSE Critical Care Programme has resources available online for staff being redeployed to Critical Care. These include an orientation manual and free online education modules. While these are designed for nursing staff, some sections are applicable and valuable to HSCP.
The Health Education England (HEE) e-Learning for Healthcare site also has a Coronavirus Disease Programme, which is now free to access without registration.
If you are looking for further clinical guidelines, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released a number of rapid guidelines and evidence reviews to support healthcare staff.
Of particular interest is their rapid guideline for managing adults requiring critical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the HSE has launched a Clinical Guidance and Evidence repository for COVID-19. This provides a repository of the latest research evidence to equip clinicians in Ireland to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. It includes clinical guidance, evidence summaries and an online facility to request a rapid evidence review in relation to specific clinical questions regarding COVID-19.
Another central repository to be launched this week is from the National HSCP Office. This will enable a sharing of COVID and non-COVID resources with the intention of reducing duplication of effort for HSCP at this time.
Learning from the Italian COVID-19 Experience
As COVID-19 is a novel disease, there is huge value in connecting with countries like Italy, in the peak of the pandemic, to gain from the emerging learning there.
The Pediatrica Intensiva podcast gives a great insight into the Italian experience. It includes interviews with intensivists about the realities of managing the COVID-19 outbreak and caring for critically ill patients.
The International Society for Quality in Healthcare also has a webinar and podcast which shares the experience of Dr Francesco Venneri, a clinical risk manager and emergency front line worker in Tuscany.
These recommendations are not exhaustive and we welcome any suggestions you have on general resources that could assist HSCP at this time. Please share using the comment box below.
Stay tuned for our next Blog on profession-specific on-line resources.
– this blog was written by Éadaoin O’Hanlon on behalf of the eHealth HSCP Advisory Group.