University College Cork and University College Dublin are to provide a course, free of charge during the coronavirus pandemic, to help more nurses treat patients with Covid-19.
The National Foundation module in Critical Care Nursing is an online accelerated programme aimed at increasing the number of nurses available to provide critical care to patients with Covid-19 as well as to other patients who require intensive care.
In China and Italy, an estimated 5% to 12% of patients who became infected with Covid-19 needed intensive care.
Professor Josephine Hegarty, Head of UCC’s School of Nursing and Midwifery said: “The easy and rapid access to this education will increase the number of nurses available to provide critical care to patients with Covid-19 as well as to other patients who require intensive care.
"This module will facilitate nurses to develop high-level skills in caring for patients who are critically ill and help them to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals in intensive care settings. In addition, the module will facilitate nurses to provide the high levels of support to patients and families during their period of critical care,” she said.
In Italy, it was reported in the first two weeks of the outbreak, that of all the patients who were admitted to hospital with Covid-19, 16% required care in an intensive care unit which needs specialist nursing, medical and allied health care teams.
From experience in other countries that have had large numbers of people with Covid-19, the majority of patients who require intensive care treatment are older and have underlying conditions such as cardiac disease and respiratory conditions.
The 2018 Irish National ICU Audit reported that, normally, the average length of stay for patients who require intensive care is five days. It has been estimated that patients with Covid-19 may need eight to 10 days in intensive care.
At present, it is recommended that there is a ratio of one nurse to one patient in an intensive care unit, especially for patients who are ventilated, and it is recommended that the ratio should not fall below 1:2.
The National Foundation module in Critical Care Nursing is an online accelerated programme developed in partnership with the HSE.
With immediate effect, O’Neills are manufacturing scrubs for the Health and Social Care Trusts.— O'Neills (@ONeills1918) March 23, 2020
The health and safety of our workers is paramount. We are observing government hygiene and distancing protocol.
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Meanwhile, Irish sportswear company O'Neills is to start making scrubs for healthcare workers.
The GAA jersey manufacturer says it will soon be providing scrubs for health and social care trusts.
O'Neills says it is observing government hygiene and distancing advice.