Following recognition that the nurses and HCAs on the ASU find it very difficult to attend longer training sessions, an idea was developed to provide short bursts of training specifically aimed at them and provided at a time that suited them.

We planned eight 15 minute sessions, once a week, at 13:30 on the ward. This meant the training happened during the overlap between early and late shifts, and the nurses and HCAs were close to their patients if anything was needed.

The remit given to the speakers was that it had to be very relaxed training with no power point presentations, to include one or two main learning points only, and to be as interactive and engaging as possible. Speakers were stroke doctors, therapists and senior nurses and in total six talks were given on topics including an introduction to stroke, the stroke pathway, mouth care, cough reflex testing, strokes in younger people and cognitive/perceptual problems.

Two sessions were cancelled due to sickness and low staffing concerns. We had a good mix of nurses and HCAs attend the training, with some sessions having six members of staff attend.

Everyone completed a feedback form at each training session, scoring three statements on a likert scale:

I found the training useful;

I found the training interesting;

I would recommend this training to my colleagues.

100% of the nurses strongly agreed with all three statements for every training session.

77.7% of HCAs strongly agreed with all three statements and 100% agreed or strongly agreed.

No one felt neutral or disagreed with any of the statements.

As a trial for a new way of running training for the nurse and HCAs it was felt to be a successful project.

Difficulties were related to allowing the staff time away from their patients on a busy acute ward where the need of the patients always come first.

We found that this was helped by support and permission to attend from the senior nurses, having other member of the MDT (e.g. therapists) available to cover the bay during the 15 minutes, and patience while the speakers waited for the nurses/HCAs to be free!

We intend to run a similar block of 15 minute training again in the New Year and are exploring how we could link it to competencies or a ‘passport of stroke training’ for the nurses and HCAs.

About the Author:

Clinical Specialist Speech and Language Therapist - Stroke and Neurology

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