GPHC, Linden Hospital staffers begin ultrasound, neonatal care training

The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in collaboration with the University of Calgary, Canada and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) is providing training for staff in radiography and neonatal intensive care.

In a press release, the GPHC said on Monday that three members of its medical and technical staff and a doctor attached to the New Amsterdam Hospital started an eight-week training course in the efficient use of the ultrasound machine. The training is being provided courtesy of the University of Calgary and it has been developed and will be executed by physicians and technologists.

The objective of the sessions is to teach four participants, including the hospital’s radiography manager and an anaesthetist, to interpret readings and ultimately provide a sustainable source of cardiac diagnostic service, not only at the GPHC but across the country.

The team of experts, led by Dr Debra Isaac of the Department of Cardiac Sciences, Calgary, Canada, also includes four radiographers who will travel to Guyana at two-week intervals to conduct both practical and theoretical sessions. At the end of the course, the participants will be evaluated and given certificates. GPHC said preparation for this training started a month prior to June 4, where participants were provided with study packages and attached to mentors for guidance.

On completion of the sessions, plans are in train to host a number of ultrasound clinics. The GPHC said the training is of major importance as the number of experts in this field is very limited and they are mainly non-Guyanese. In the light of this, the GPHC is pleased that the collaboration with the University will enable it to boost capacity in this area.

Additionally, eight registered nurses from the GPHC and the Linden Hospital Complex started a one-year training programme in Neonatal Intensive Care on Monday. The training is sponsored by PAHO and aims at equipping the nurses with the skills to provide the highest level of intensive care to all newborns.

The nurses are expected to put their skills and extensive knowledge along with the availability of advanced equipment to use in the newly refurbished Neonatal Unit in the Maternity Unit at the GPHC. The skills will allow the nurses to work well with the physicians who have recently started training in the Masters Degree in Paediatric and Obstetrics and Gynaecological Residency Programme.

According to the hospital, training will take the form of classroom sessions, including virtual sessions via Webex, and practical sessions in the Unit. The facilitators, from the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, will visit the hospital in the third month of the programme to conduct practical sessions with the participants. The team is led by Dr Leis Nelin, Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics, Ohio State University. In the eight month of training the nurses will perform their internship with monthly Webex sessions.

A pre-test was done before the start of the programme and staff were said to have performed creditably. “This test was done as not only a prerequisite to the course, but for the finalisation of the teaching curriculum, to suit the needs of the staff and patients of the hospital,” the release said.

Training will cover areas such as care of the sick newborn, high-risk obstetrics, neonatal resuscitation, among others. The latter mentioned is a programme in itself and the nurses will be required to complete an online examination where certificates will be awarded by the American Academy of Paediatrics, on successful completion of the course. “Their successful completion is a prerequisite for the practical session which will immediately follow, upon the return of the facilitators,” the release said.

Ultimately, this inaugural batch will be expected to train their colleagues to improve care for all newborn babies in an effort to reduce the mortality and morbidity rate and meet the Millennium Development Goals, the hospital said.

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