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Training enhances CFR skills – Volunteers Week 2019

It was certainly a busy night for some of our volunteer community first responders (CFRs) on 25 March; they had to cope with a difficult bath extraction, a collapsed patient in a nightclub and experienced what it is like to have visual, hearing and mobility impairments. Fortunately, it was all in the name of training!

The training took place at Health-Tec Thames Valley, part of the Buckinghamshire College Group, a health simulation centre in Aylesbury. The training suite at Health-Tec includes a realistic bathroom, bedsit, hospital bay, ambulance interior and an immersive classroom.

Scheme Co-ordinator for High Wycombe CFRs, Robin Mugridge, said: “The training session was attended by volunteers from many schemes. During the evening we split into small teams to practice managing a generally unwell patient, age empathy, extraction from a bath and a cardiac arrest in a noisy and hot nightclub environment.”

One of those attending, High Wycombe CFR Tim Rogers, added: “Whilst we are trained in using the Mangar ELK lifting cushion and carry one on the response cars, the bath scenario was new to us. It was a good way of demonstrating its flexibility but also ensuring that the patient’s safety and dignity can be maintained too.

“The medical emergency in the nightclub was certainly different! This took place in the immersive simulation room and it was very hot and very noisy. The images around the room were distracting and it was an excellent way of replicating the different pressures that this type of situation would bring.

“The empathy activity gave us a real insight into what it is like for a patient with visual, hearing or mobility impairments – the challenges this brings, how it feels from their point of view to try and access emergency healthcare, to communicate with responders or healthcare professionals. It certainly made us think about what we need to do and say differently when responding.”

Thank you to the team at Health-Tec, along with Del Flint, Dave Cave and Richard Rolfe from SCAS’ Community Engagement & Training Team, for making the evening such a realistic, practical and enjoyable experience.