Forty-five out of 45. That is the score obtained by the ICU nurses at Mediclinic City Hospital, Dubai, a state-of-the-art healthcare facility that recently joined Dubai’s Rashid Hospital as the only hospitals outside the US to achieve ASA/AHA International Certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Centre.
Excellence is habit at this private hospital where opportunities for professional growth attract nursing staff from all over the world, including South Africa, the Philippines, India and China. Thanks to its partnership with the Angels Initiative, the annual educational plan for nurses can now draw on specialised training offered in the Angels Academy, including Stroke Nurse Certification, a self-study course covering all aspects of stroke care. As a result, stroke patients admitted to Mediclinic City Hospital can now count on round-the-clock care from 45 certified stroke nurses who have sacrificed leave and leisure time to improve their stroke knowledge and practical patient care.
“They’re a team that likes challenges,” says healthcare quality specialist Ms Leonor Magno of the 45 nurses who provide critical care to the most vulnerable patients at the hospital. “They’re a very competitive team and highly motivated to take advantage of opportunities to raise their professional standing.”
The Stroke Nurse Certification Course consist of 20 modules, and a minimum 80% pass mark is required to proceed to the next module. For the ICU nurses at Mediclinic City Hospital this meant that as soon as one shift ended, another one started, as they delved into topics that range from neurocritical care for a variety of disorders to quality and process management, each working at their own pace.
Six months had been set aside to complete the course, from June to December 2021, although the competitive team culture meant some crossed the finish line in three months or less. And as during any shift, when the students encountered challenges they could count on their colleagues for support.
“We found time during our breaks to talk about course topics and share our understanding of certain concepts,” says Christer Rigua, who has been an ICU nurse at the hospital for over six years. And intensive care nurses being of course no strangers to time-management and discipline, by the end of December it was mission accomplished, with certificates issued to 100% of ICU nurses at the hospital.
The impact is already being felt on the ground, where the alignment of the hospital’s stroke protocol with increased levels of knowledge and professional confidence in the ICU is raising the standard of stroke management. Especially the transition of patient care from emergency department to ICU has become more systematic and orderly, Christer says. “A care plan is ready to be executed even before the patient has reached the ICU door.”
Their clean sweep has consolidated the ICU nurses’ standing as a closely integrated unit of likeminded individuals who are all willing to step up to earn recognition for their team.
But however proudly the team wears the new feather in their cap, what makes them top of the class is their dedication to patients. Christer says, “It’s the best reward we could give ourselves –gaining the knowledge and capabilities that ensure our patients receive the best care possible.”