Six senior medical staff were being trained in Lerwick this week so that they can become trainers in resuscitation for other medical practitioners.
The six, five from NHS Shetland and one who had made the long haul from Portsmouth in southern England, were under the scrutiny of four senior instructors – one of whom is locally based.
Lead educator with the UK resuscitation council Kevin Mackie said the instructor course is recognised throughout the UK and will help build a reserve of staff trained in the fine details of resuscitation including CPR and obtaining a “patent” airway.
He said: “This is the generic instructor course and what this does is that it trains anybody who has been recommended to be an instructor from lots of different life support courses; specifically here it is advanced life support which is the advanced cardiac resuscitation course.
“So these candidates have done that course they have then been recommended to be instructors because they are very good. They come here [Montfield resuscitation training and practical skills] and this instructor course puts all that together so they can then go out and teach advanced life support in the future.
“It is a nationally recognised course so it has to be run to the same standard wherever you are.
“They will be teaching mostly senior doctors and nurses and some paramedic staff, but it is all registered healthcare professionals who are doing the advanced cardiac life-support course.”
He said that the resuscitation council UK commissions a lot of research into resuscitation and this is put into practice by the advanced life support course.
He added: “The people who have done an advanced life support course can resuscitate someone effectively according to the very latest guidelines, so that means defibrillation, doing CPR properly and giving the appropriate drugs and looking for causes of cardiac arrest.
“A lot of it these days is around causes and prevention of cardiac arrest so it is also looking for the signs and symptoms before somebody needs CPR. But the main thrust of the course is cardiac resuscitation.”
The local staff being assessed as trainers include: senior charge nurse Jane Astles; senior charge nurse Aimee Sutherland; advanced nurse practitioner Kim Anderson, senior nurse Emma Williamson and senior staff nurse Yvonne Nicolson, plus anaesthetics and intensive therapy unit doctor Tom Pratt from England.
As well as Mr Mackie, training and assessment was provided by course director Lee Seager, instructor Jamie Fanning and Lerwick based resuscitation training advisor Julie Redpath.