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Nursing Skills Improved Online

City University London develops new online teaching tool to demonstrate clinical skills.
by Hollie Jenkins

With recent news reports focusing on investigations into standards of care provided in NHS Trusts, academics at City University London have responded to health sector calls for student nurses to improve their clinical skills by developing a unique online tool.

Clinical Skills Online is the first comprehensive library of clinical skills in the UK to give nursing and midwifery students and healthcare assistants the opportunity to revisit clinical procedures at their own leisure.

The online toolkit includes step-by-step video demonstrations for 82 key clinical skills, such as clinical observations, tracheostomy care,  IV infusions, nasogastric tube feeding and oxygen therapy. Each skill is also accompanied by a short quiz, references and further reading suggestions.

The online material, which has been published by Elsevier Ltd was developed by Professor Maggie Nicol at City University London who is also lead author of the textbook Essential Nursing Skills.

Professor Nicol says that it was developed in response to a recognised need to allow students and graduates to refresh key skills outside of the classroom.

"An investigation into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust in March 2009 by the Healthcare Commission found that nurses had little in-service training and that not all the nursing staff had the correct skills to observe and care for the variety of patients admitted as surgical and medical emergencies.

"Previously many nursing students may not have had an opportunity to revise key skills for several weeks, maybe even months before having to put them into practice. With the inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust now underway, healthcare errors are in the spotlight again.

"This new tool addresses clinical skills gaps by allowing students to brush up on their techniques at any time. It is an evolved version of the textbook, providing not only a better student experience, but ultimately improving patient care."

Professor Maggie Nicol, City University London

The tool, which is currently offered to all City University London students, is also being used within classes as an innovative way of enhancing student learning.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.