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Beverley Maclennan - Clinical Educator - NHS Highland

Paediatric Emergency Care

Beverley Maclennan, clinical educator (previously clinical education lead with NES), now works in the emergency department, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness.

Previously, Beverley worked with NES on the Paediatric Emergency Care
project. During that time, it became clear to Beverley that the demand for easily accessible education for all staff (particularly those in remote and rural areas) was high, and was only ever going to increase.

She felt that there were two main issues that needed to be addressed:  access to education and the fact that, in areas of low population, staff had less exposure to sick children.

So, for Beverley, it was clear and essential that any education available in this (and indeed in any clinical area/field) needed to be inclusive of all staff.  It would also benefit from the inclusion of practical examples/scenarios.

The previous work, for the core level of paediatric emergency care project, was transferred onto learnPro allowing accessibility for all staff. This multi- medium approach allows staff to consolidate their learning and helps keep the skills up-to-date.

When asked to help with the development of a paediatric scenario-based education tool, she could see how this would link back to the previous work and allow staff to rehearse scenarios they might encounter in clinical practice.  The resource that came out of this work was the Early Recognition and Assessment of the Sick Child.

When work began on developing the Early Recognition tool, those involved were clear that it had to be specifically generic to any practitioner who might be examining a sick child. They were also keen that the tool demonstrated recognised/standardised approaches to the assessment of a sick child.

The Early Recognition tool links to key areas of Scottish Patent Safety
Programme using an early warning scoring system and the SBAR (situation, background, assessment, recognition) communication tool. It also highlights the importance of seeking expert help and transfer to an appropriate centre:  this is relevant to urban areas as well more remote locations.

The Early Recognition tool can be used by practitioners, watching the
film on an individual basis; by small groups as a focus for discussion or by educators in larger groups. This links the resource back to Beverley's role as a clinical educator.

Commenting on her part in delivering the resource, Beverley said: "Assessing and caring for a sick child can raise anxiety levels for staff. Using this tool I can watch this resource with a group of staff, discuss key points and use it as a basis to rehearse similar scenarios’.

"This helps build confidence and competence, as well as developing transferable skills.”