The crew of a medical charity Mercy Ship recently benefitted from basic life support (BLS) training provided by Netcare Education’s Faculty of Emergency and Critical Care (FECC) and sponsored by the Netcare Foundation.
Bryan Adams, an educator from the FECC, visited the ship while it was docked in Durban harbour in order to provide 15 crew members with BLS training, which is especially aimed at healthcare providers.
Mercy Ships sail to various countries where they provide life-changing surgery as well as medical and dental treatment to disadvantaged individuals. The crewmembers that completed the BLS training included nurses, biochemical technicians, pharmacists, a hospital director and a laboratory technician.
“Knowledge and skills obtained through new BLS research that is released every five years are imparted through the BLS course. The focus is to stay abreast of up-to-date teachings on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation, treatment for choking infants, children and adults and to apply these in practice,” says Adams. “The course is fully accredited by the American Heart Association and the Resuscitation Council of Southern Africa.”
For Adams, it was something of a novelty to share his knowledge on a ship. “I have not provided this kind of training to crew on a ship before. However, when I worked as an operational advanced life support paramedic, I treated some patients who were injured on a ship.”
“This training programme was all the more satisfying because we know that the crew of the Mercy Ship will use their updated knowledge all over the world to help those in need of life saving treatment.”
Adams says that the ship’s crew comprises volunteers from the United Kingdom, United States, Netherlands, New Zealand and Canada. “They have everything they need on the ship including a hairdresser, pre-school to high-school and a fully functional hospital, including operating rooms. It was truly amazing to see.”
Stuart Hackland, the FECC’s head of department: postgraduate programmes, explains that the values of Netcare Education and Mercy Ships are closely aligned. “As such, the FECC did not hesitate to support the humanitarian and medical work that the ship performs, by partnering with them to provide internationally recognised training in basic life support to their crew members and healthcare practitioners.”
“Netcare Foundation, Netcare’s corporate social investment arm, covered the costs of the training so as to allow the Mercy Ship to conserve its resources for the important charitable work it does. Mercy Ships rely on donations and are staffed by unpaid volunteers,” says Mande Toubkin, general manager emergency, trauma, transplant and corporate social investment at Netcare and a trustee of the Netcare Foundation.
There are also plans for Netcare Education and the Netcare Foundation to assist Mercy Ships with advanced cardiac life support training early next year.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Education
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