Consistent and continuous training for nurses at the hospital, so that all nursing staff are able to meet the standards of care required, and the skills gap left by rapid staff turnover is narrowed.
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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1125217)
The Ola During Children‚Äôs Hospital currently employs some 140 nursing staff. Around half of these are trained nurses, who have undergone a three-year course, at a cost of more than $300 per year, way out of the reach of most Sierra Leoneans, whose total annual income averages $250. The other half are nursing aides, who have no formal scientific or medical training but learn as apprentices in the hospital, and qualify for even less by way of salary than the trained nurses. There is no specific training in Paediatrics for nurses available in the country, apart from that provided by non-governmental organisations. Thus, most of what even the trained nurses know about caring for children is learnt on-the-job. An additional challenge is that nurses are regularly posted to different hospitals, disrupting any training and moving experienced nurses away. There is a turnover of up to 40 nurses annually at the hospital. Government salaries are very low, with trained nurses earning around $50 per month and nursing aides around $30 a month, which may not even cover the costs of public transport to and from work. Many are compelled to take additional jobs or find other ways to supplement their income. At the Ola During, we are keen to supplement and consolidate the training received by all nurses so that they are able to care properly for children. We believe that a comprehensive basic training will help to standardise and improve the quality of care delivered by the team, as well as contributing to the personal development and motivation of the nursing staff. Often the first care-giver to attend to in an emergency, especially during the night-shift, it is critical that all nurses are well-drilled in the prompt assessment and emergency treatment of children and babies. We wish to implement a regular nurse training program, taught in small groups of up to ten, with the syllabus delivered twice a year to capture new staff and refresh the skills of existing staff. We will also train a small number of nurses to deliver this training in the future, and aim to incentivise them appropriately. In total we are seeking to fund 30 days‚Äô training per annum - 24 all-nurse training sessions of six hours, with lunch and written materials, equivalent to two sessions per nurse per annum, plus six ‚Äútrain the trainers‚Äù days to teach and assess additional supervisors. Our training plan has met with enthusiastic support from Lt Col Sahr of the Military hospital, and he would be keen to send his paediatric nursing staff to the Ola During to take part in our training sessions. This highlights the need for a specialist paediatric nursing training module, and we believe we are best placed to deliver it. We estimate the cost of the programme will be $2750 in the first year, breakdown as follows: 24 training days including written materials and lunch - $100 a session, or $2,400 6 days of ‚ÄúTrain the trainer‚Äù with written materials and lunch - $55 a session, or $330 (This based on a $20 fee for trainer/session, and $25 for the ‚ÄúTrain the trainer‚Äù sessions, plus $4 lunch allowance and $2 in written materials)
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