We have all been challenged in delivering services in social and healthcare throughout the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. The intense pressures on staffing and resources have also taken their toll on the provision of education.
Revalidation is the process that all nurses, midwives and nursing associates in the UK need to follow to maintain their registration with the NMC5. It is an NMC requirement to meet the participatory learning requirement. You must undertake an activity that involves interaction with one or more other professionals. Given the current situation, it is beneficial to know that this can be in a physical environment or a virtual one – being online you do not have to be in the same room as your activity peers.
Education-based on evidence-based practice is integral to the role of the TVN3. Given the growing evidence we have of the impact of wounds on patient’s quality of life and the cost to the NHS1,2 a key focus must be prevention. Assessment and management of pressure ulcers and the lower limb are often the main delivery subjects. They include care of the skin and moisture-associated skin damage (MASD): skin tears, wound healing, formulary and product selection, surgical site infection prevention and dehiscence management.
Challenges of work-based learning
Despite the richness of clinical practice as a learning environment, achieving and maintaining a focus on work-based learning can be challenging in busy and complex settings where patient care is prioritised. However, with preparation and embedding education and learning throughout the workplace, learning can occur in even the most pressurised settings.4
Changes in our educational world
The rise of the digital world has impacted everyone in the past 12 months, from Teams work meetings and family social events to homeschooling and telemedicine – we cannot have escaped it. Positives and negatives can be attributed to any new system, but one element of success must be access to education and its delivery.
In health and social care, staff could not be released from their busy work environment to attend face-to-face training and educational sessions in traditional classroom settings – often deemed unsafe due to the risk of spreading infection.
We have also seen new topics covered within healthcare education, some of which have included:
- New COVID-19 skin manifestations
- An increased number of patients with devices such as oxygen masks in place
- A higher number of vulnerable patients susceptible to all wound types but in particular pressure ulcers
- Education for both clinicians and patients on self- / shared-care, giving patients increased autonomy in their wound management.
Digital education – making it easier to access education when and where you choose.
The increased move into the digital space brings some advantages, with easy access to a wide range of topics and formats of education. For example, live digital events such as webinars and Facebook Live sessions bring education into our own homes at convenient times, giving everyone the ability to watch either live or later. Receiving an hour of education from experts and specialists in tissue viability and wound care is refreshing, as it enables audiences to join in live Q&A sessions.
For example, a recent Facebook live event addressed the topic of ‘End of life skin care – challenges, prevention and management’. This event, hosted by The Journal of Community Nursing and in partnership with Medicareplus International, has been watched a staggering 17,500 times to date – a fantastic way to bring our community together over a vital topic. CPD certification is available after viewing.
Delivering education online can seem daunting, but it can be tailor-made with support from industry partners. It is designed with links to formulary items and pathways to tools such as the S.M.A.R.T Tool, an NHSI recommended framework for reporting moisture-associated skin damage (MASD).
E-learning modules allow staff to access and complete them at the most suitable time or pause and return later at their convenience. E-learning allows absorption of information on a particular subject, has visual elements to it and often includes a test of knowledge at the end. E-learning counts towards revalidation and CPD and is a great way to increase understanding of many aspects of clinical care.
Web pages at the click of a button provide a wealth of resources and patient advice leaflets for self / shared care purposes. In the workplace, we benefit from toolkits of knowledge and resources to assist us in everyday care delivery. Toolkits give access to supporting materials straight from the work PC, laptop or smartphone.
Participatory learning for revalidation and continuing professional development (CPD)
Examples of participatory learning can include attending a conference, taking part in a workshop or attending a relevant training course – online as well as in person. The NMC provides templates to log all CPD activity.
According to the Royal College of Nursing, Continuing6 Professional Development (CPD) is described internationally by various terms. These include continuing nursing education, life-long learning and professional skills development (among others). While there is no universally agreed term for CPD, there is a generally accepted understanding of its purpose – to help nurses maintain an updated skill set so that they can care for patients safely and competently.
Education is vital in tissue viability to maintain standards through evidence-based practice. Whilst challenges in delivering education in practice have been evident; there is a vast amount of support available. The links below will take you to a selection of these excellent resources – ready for you to access at your convenience and for you to share with your team.
- Facebook Live: End of life skin care – challenges, prevention and management
- E-learning module: MASD
- MASD Educational toolkit from Medicareplus International
- Guest JF, Ayoub N, McIlwraith T, Uchegbu I, Gerrish A, Weidlich D, Vowden K, Vowden P. Health economic burden that different wound types impose on the UK’s National Health Service. Int Wound J 2016; doi: 10.1111/iwj.12603
- Guest JF, Fuller GW, Vowden P. Cohort study evaluating the burden of wounds to the UK’s National Health Service in 2017/2018: update from 2012/2013BMJ Open 2020;10:e045253. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-045253
- Nursing & Midwifery Council. (2018). The code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses, midwives and nursing associates. London: Nursing & Midwifery Council.
- Julie Attenborough, Stephen Abbott, Judy Brook, Rachael-Anne Knight, Everywhere and nowhere: Work-based learning in healthcare education, Nurse Education in Practice, Volume 36,2019, pages 132-138.
- Nursing and Midwifery Council. (2019). Revalidation Your step-by-step guide through the process.http://revalidation.nmc.org.uk/
- Royal College of Nursing. (2016). Revalidation requirements: Continuing Professional Development. https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/revalidation/continuing-professional-development