At the beginning of the millennium two critical care areas at Sydney Children’s Hospital were working in isolation. Registered Nurses (RN) in the Emergency Department (ED) were often involved in the rapid resuscitation of patients which required skills that were difficult for the ED nurse to acquire. Conversely, RN’s from the Children’s Intensive Care Unit (CICU) would provide support for the resuscitations in an environment they were unfamiliar with. It was conceived that creating a culture of collaboration between two nursing teams would enhance skill development in paediatric critical care.
The Nurse Educators from both areas developed and piloted the ED – ICU rotation program in 2005. Specific learning objectives were aligned with the National Standards for Critical Care Nurse Education.
More than ten years on, the ED-ICU rotation program is ingrained in the roster, resulting in a number of collaborative innovations in education, quality and safety. Innovations include combined simulation team training, ED representation on the ICU Access Nurse Study day, shared education for advanced skills development and collaborative quality projects such as the recently endorsed ED-CICU Handover Checklist with accompanying guideline document in 2016.
This paper outlines the benefits of a nursing rotation for staff between a paediatric emergency department and a paediatric intensive care unit and the subsequent impact on skill development and staff retention. The resulting progression of skill acquisition and development of a collaborative culture between units will also be outlined along with the vision for future combined Paediatric Critical Care post-graduate learning.
Key words: Resuscitation; clinical practice; staff rotation.