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    Maintaining medical readiness through Nursing Skills Fair



    Story by Jalonda Garrison 

    Weed Army Community Hospital

    FORT IRWIN, Calif. - Nursing staff receive hands on training during their semi-annual Nursing Skills Fair at Weed Army Community Hospital Jan 24.

    "Nursing Skills Fairs are designed to ensure competencies in both basic and advanced clinical nursing skills to maintain medical readiness through sustained medical education and practice," stated Lt. Col. Jo Ann Clark, Officer in Charge of Hospital Education and Training.

    WACH's nursing staff rotated through 17 skill stations covering a combination of hands on training for practical skills to information about the latest wound care treatment and operational security.  

    Nursing Skills Fairs are a collaborative effort between Hospital Education and Training and each department's clinical nurse officer in charge and noncommissioned officer in charge to provide interactive experiences in the management of routine and more complex patient care.  Conducting skills fairs enables nurses of various professional skills to maintain training on procedures and equipment that are not common on a routine basis but  are considered to be a low volume and high risk skill set to have.  Instructing new nurses on proper techniques and coaching by seasoned nurses on improving standards of care reduces risk of harm and improves patient care experiences. 

    "Nurses have the opportunity to integrate new skills into their practice, refresh traditional skills and learn about the latest trends, technologies and equipment used to improve the safety and quality of care delivered to their patients," said Clark.  

    Skills fairs increases the capability for nurses to treat patients locally instead of sending them to another facility located hundreds of miles away.  This increases the continuity of care for the patient and allows them to be treated locally, be in close proximity to their families and return to duty faster.  It also ensure competencies in a military professional's skills to maintain medical readiness.  WACH's nursing skills fair cover several skill sets listed under an Army nurse's Individual Critical Task List.  

    "By doing ICTL training, we keep our [nursing] skills up in order to provide safe, quality care in any setting," said Col. Hengmo Y. McCall, Deputy Commander for Nursing at Weed Army Community Hospital.

    ICTLs identifies gaps between clinical skills and wartime medical skills so Soldiers in the medical profession can take necessary actions to adjust and improve the way they deliver care.  Gaining these skills and education through continuous research and hands on training prepares an Army nurse to provide care not just in a hospital setting; but on the battlefield, as well.  

    For more information visit www.irwin.amedd.army.mil.



    Date Taken: 01.24.2019
    Date Posted: 01.30.2019 14:03
    Story ID: 308823
    Location: US

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