Basic Life Support – getting you and your staff trained during a pandemic.

Getting you and your staff Basic Life Support trained during a pandemic.  

It is difficult enough at the best of times to keep staff up to date with skills and training so that they can confidently and competently deliver a safe, effective service. But Basic Life Support training during a pandemic – at times when we are also required to be socially distanced, this has presented a further challenge.

Image showing AED for BLS training on manikin chest

In this update we would like to take you through some of the questions you may have about delivering effective Basic Life Support (BLS) during the coronavirus pandemic, and to share with you how best to keep you and your staff up to date with these clinical skills. Let’s start with the guidelines:

1. Have there been any changes to BLS guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Yes, there have been changes. The Resuscitation Council UK have published a statement on COVID-19 for healthcare workers (HCW) in primary and community healthcare settings which sets out the  changes.

You, and your staff, should ensure that you are following local guidelines – which should be informed by these changes.

2. Has there been a training issue with Basic Life Support during the Covid pandemic?

The amount of face-to-face training available for all clinical skills has been significantly reduced, and in some cases it has come to a complete standstill. This has been a significant issue for some clinical training such as Basic Life Support which has traditionally been delivered via the face to face method. If you work in an environment where your staff are not regularly having the chance to use basic life support skills in a real life situation, it is even more important that they do regular updates and have a chance to practice in a controlled environment.

3. How often do my staff and I need to update?

The Quality Standards for Primary Care (RCUK) state that all staff in a primary care organisation, including non-clinical staff, should undergo regular training in resuscitation of both adults and children to the level appropriate to their role.  Clinical staff should have at least annual updates and an assessment element is recommended. All primary care providers should make provision for staff to have sufficient time to train in resuscitation skills as part of their employment.

4. That’s for Basic Life Support but do I need to include Anaphylaxis training too?

Image showing adrenaline auto-injectors - Epipen for BLS training

If you or your staff are administering vaccinations, the National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training (PHE & RCN) state that practitioners administering vaccinations should be able to give evidence of anaphylaxis training, as well as basic life support training, within the last 12 months.

5. But doesn’t training need to be face to face?

The Resuscitation Council UK does not stipulate that training must be delivered face to face or directly by an instructor. Rather they state that a well designed and validated self-instructional programme using e-learning can be an effective alternative to instructor-led training. They do however, emphasises that hands-on practice must be part of any training programme. 

Image showing chest compressions, CPR, BLS training

In practice this would mean that as well as being able to watch demonstrations, the learner would be able to practice, and potentially be assessed, using a Basic Life Support manikin.

6. Is there a way to get quality online clinical training and assessment that’s as good as face to face training?

Yes. At Health Academy we believe that there is no need for training standards to be compromised during this period. Therefore, we provide a well constructed, high-quality online basic life support training course with a practical element which provides an equally effective learning experience to that of face-to-face training.

Our basic life support courses are video based and have a video assessment option. All you need is a manikin and a mobile phone with a camera. At the end of the course we will ask you to film yourself demonstrating a clinical skill such as two minutes of cardio pulmonary resuscitation, then you can simply go to your assessment page and click upload and we will do the rest.  

Image showing mobile phone camera

Simple, safe and effective!

To take a look at our Basic Life Support and Anaphylaxis courses click on the button below. 

If you have any further questions please get in touch, we would love to hear from you. 

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