Nursing skills lab ushers in culture of training, learning

Nurses are the first point-of-contact for patients coming into the emergency department, many of whom require urgent medical intervention. This is why developing the capacity of nurses is crucial for an effective health-care delivery system. The Nursing Development Project initiated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is helping enhance the basic life-saving skills of medical personnel through a robust system of training and learning.

In collaboration with the Lady Reading Hospital, the ICRC established the Nursing Skills Laboratory two years ago. Till now, close to 1,600 nurses have been trained through seven programmes on basic life support, intravenous therapy and operation theatre skills for ICU and CCU. These nurses have further imparted this training to doctors of the accident and emergency department.

To ensure that the learning cycle continues for nurses across the board, a consortium of nursing directors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was set up in different hospitals. As a result of the consultative learning process, hospitals have initiated nursing projects and basic life skills training programmes.

John Macato, the teaching nurse for this project, said, "The project's development and success is not because of me or the ICRC. The nurses took ownership of this initiative and were involved at all stages, from the identification of problems, to implementing effective solutions."

This is what has made this project sustainable and innovative.

For the nurses, this is not just another project. It's an opportunity to get trained in advanced skills and grow in their roles. A nurse who is soon going to retire plans to become a trainer to share her knowledge and skills. "I told my husband that after taking a year off, I will apply as a trainer in Punjab so that I can play an active role in equipping nurses with an updated skillset."