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Teamwork a key to rural maternity emergency response

A maternity emergency training day held at Thames in October highlighted the benefits of hands-on practice and teamwork for those working in maternity services at rural hospitals.

The training is based on PROMPT (Practical Obstetric Multi Professional Training), an internationally respected programme which has been used successfully at Waikato Hospital for some time.

Now it is adapted for use at Thames Hospital and will be rolled out in the DHB’s three rural hospitals in Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taumarunui next year..

DHB midwife educator Pip Wright says the emergency team training approach is common practice at a large hospital, but in smaller hospitals professional staff have not had the same opportunity – until now.

“In a rural area, people who need to respond to a maternity emergency are not necessarily working closely together day-to-day.

“The training brings everyone together – LMC midwives, hospital midwives, emergency department nurses, medical ward nurses, hospital doctors, with the hope of next year extending the invitation to local GPs and St John. They can practice obstetric emergency scenarios using both Thames Birthing Unit and Thames Hospital Emergency Department locations.

“The feedback highlighted that working with staff from other areas was viewed as a real bonus. Those who took part said  the experience was excellent.”

The training day included scenarios and lectures, and gives everyone the chance to take on a range of roles which helps them work comfortably as a team in a real life emergency.

“In an emergency, everyone contributes. It’s teamwork,” she says.

“Communication is vitally important, and to quickly establish what each person’s role is,” Pip explains. “We use the SBARR communication checklist which is now a standard tool across Waikato DHB. It gives us a consistent way of communicating information about clinical situations.” SBARR stands for Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation and Response.

Maternity emergency training is one of a number of improvement initiatives at Waikato DHB as part of its Maternity Quality and Safety Programme.



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Email: news@waikatodhb.health.nz

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