This Training Initiative Will Save Countless Lives
Updated: Jul 24
When it comes to training Intensive Care nurses at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, visualize an iceberg.
The small chunk visible above water represents the hands-on teaching. Beneath the surface is the bulk of it all: months of strategizing on a plan to create lasting improvements in critical care for one of Africa's poorest nations.
The complex nurse training plan comes courtesy of four volunteer medical educators—nurses from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professionals. They've done most of the heavy lifting to answer the urgent need to train ICU nurses at "Queens."
Though the team arrives in Malawi this week, their plan began in the U.S. with a virtual assessment of needs. Once at Queens, the training team (pictured above) joins on-site educators for an extensive, in-person evaluation..
That provides them the info needed to build an effective curriculum, tailor-made for Queens. At that point, the hands-on teaching and learning really gets going, with nurses from novice to veteran becoming skilled in best practices for the ICU.
Since the Physicians for Peace training team can't predict exactly what's needed until they get there, they arrive prepared to teach each and every topic in critical care.
We're excited to follow their progress in Malawi, as they work to empower the nurses at Queens and expand the capacity of its ICU!
DEVISING THE STRATEGY
To make a lasting impact, the training plan had to meet several requirements, including:
· Incorporating Malawi's culture and resources;
· Aligning protocols with those of the pediatric ICU next door, Mercy James Centre for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care (where Physicians for Peace has trained ICU nurses). This ensures coordination among all critical care nurses in the two cooperating facilities;
· Collaborating with two valuable resources for nurse education in Blantyre. One, the Kamuzu College of Nursing, works with Queens to build its critical care nursing curriculum. The other, Oslo University Hospital in Norway, has a nurse educator embedded at Queens for a year.