During spring break, four faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene (SONDH) developed a 3-hour training program,“Nursing During Pandemics—COVID-19” for nursing students and frontline nurses. The program comprises four course modules and includes an overview of COVID-19 with a focus on nursing care, public health responses and ethical challenges to assist nurses providing care in hospitals and communities. Licensed nurses may earn continuing nursing education credits for the program.
The program provides the basic knowledge and skills required to: engage in epidemic and pandemic prevention, detection, response and recovery; work within the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency Incident Command System; assure individual safety and well-being while providing care in healthcare and community settings; provide nursing care during epidemics and pandemics; understand crisis standards of care; use legal and ethical principles to guide care; and assure personal and family preparedness.
Nursing faculty were the first to receive the training and provided feedback in the development of the course. The training has now been refined and is in the process of being delivered to students. Priority has been given to nursing students who will be volunteering at major hospitals and state agencies to support the Hawaiʻi COVID-19 response effort. A version of this training has been adapted specifically for dental hygiene students.
Professor Kristine Qureshi, associate dean of research and global health, Associate Professor Lorrie Wong, director of the UH Translational Health Science Simulation Center, Assistant Professor Gary Glauberman, advanced population health nursing program director, and Instructor Michele Lani Bray—leaders in global health nursing, disaster management, public health, acute care and simulation education—drew on their expertise areas to create the course.
“In times of crisis, nurses are always on the frontlines delivering care to the sick and wounded,” said Qureshi. “One of the main motivators for the creation of this teaching tool is to ensure that our students and nurses are prepared and competent to navigate this new reality with COVID-19. Our nursing faculty are so dedicated and committed to delivering high-quality education—they worked tirelessly to quickly develop this COVID-19 course.”
“Caring for patients during their greatest time of need is why many nurses become nurses,” said Wong. “It is why nurses report to work amidst a pandemic. It is why our nursing students want to volunteer to support the healthcare response to COVID-19. It is our duty as educators to ensure that our students and frontline nurses are ready to face this new, ever-changing environment.”
Training adapted for working nurses to meet demand
In response to the demand from nurses working throughout the state who have requested to take the course, SONDH has adapted the training for working nurses and will offer continuing education nursing credits from the Hawaiʻi State Center for Nursing. The course is free and will be delivered online via UH Mānoa Outreach College. Nurses and other healthcare workers may take the program in its entirety or by individual course modules.