Life support instructors trained on-island

Health Services Authority medical professionals will complete a three-day programme today to become certified instructors in various life support protocols, enabling on-island training of health care personnel.

Previously, health care professionals in Cayman had to go overseas for various training courses.

The overseas trainers here for the course are affiliated with Faxton-St Luke’s Healthcare in Syracuse, New York.

‘They are training instructors in cardiopulmonary resuscitation with automated external defibrillator and paediatric advanced life support,’ Jo-Anne Taylor, advanced life support training coordinator at the HSA, explained.

The sessions have also included updates on advanced cardiac life support and the American Heart Association heart saver first aid, she said.

Mrs. Taylor, who is also nurse manager of the critical care and dialysis units at Cayman Islands Hospital, spoke of the importance of this training.

‘The significance is that we can offer a more diverse total package of basic and advanced life support to the staff of the HSA and the people of the Cayman Islands,’ she said.

During the sessions, 21 instructors have been trained, 11 in CPR and 10 in PALS, Mrs. Taylor explained, adding that 14 additional staff are also being updated on the new ACLS guidelines.

Every five years, the AHA reviews its resuscitation guidelines, she said, and its most recent findings were published in November 2005.

‘In order to keep us up with international standards this is not only a new trainers’ initiative, it is also to update existing trainers on new guidelines.

‘With having these new instructors, the goal is to train all HSA employees in CPR/AED and train all appropriate medical professionals in ACLS, PALS and NRP (neonatal resuscitation programme).

‘We would also like to be able to offer some of these courses in the near future to private health care professionals and local corporations,’ she said.

Mrs. Taylor estimates that about 250 to 300 HSA staff can be trained every year in CPR/AED, with about 60 other staff instructed in PALS.

The three-day course was sponsored by five local companies – CUC, Dart Management, Cayman Airways, Andy’s Rent-A-Car and Courtyard by Marriott.

Mrs. Taylor expressed appreciation for the sponsorship.

‘I am very grateful to our corporate sponsors because it’s people like them that care so that we can go on and look to the future of the Cayman Islands,’ she said.

CUC covered the cost for the entire training programme. Richard Hew, CUC President and CEO, explained the corporation’s involvement.

‘CUC is pleased to have this opportunity to partner with the Health Services Authority to ensure that world-class certification in the latest life support techniques is made available to our doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians and paramedics,’ he said.

‘We are especially happy to know that a ‘train the trainer’ concept has been employed as it imperative to ensure that all health care professionals in the Cayman Islands are fully equipped to handle cardiopulmonary emergencies.’

Jeff Lombardo, leasing manager of Dart Management, also spoke of the importance of the programme.

‘Dart Management Ltd recognizes the importance of ongoing training, education and certification of the medical professionals on the islands. We are proud to be a part of the continuing medical education of the Cayman Islands medical professionals by providing the training equipment and materials for this very important programme,’ Mr. Lombardo said.

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