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Bethanie care staff prepare for COVID-19 fight

As you know, we have dedicated much of our resources to ensuring we are as prepared as we possibly can be to deal with an outbreak of COVID-19.

Part of this included forming the Outbreak Response Team (ORT). This team comprises of Enrolled Nurses, Registered Nurses and Care Workers, all of whom have completed an intensive five-week COVID training course and are now prepared to be mobilised with four hours’ notice to handle an outbreak at any one of our facilities.

We spoke with registered nurse, Julie Foot from Bethanie Waters, who was one of 40 participants to put their hand up to join the ORT.

What inspired you to join the ORT?

This seemed like not only a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the management of COVID-19, but also to help me understand how I can keep myself safe from infection and teach my work colleagues too.

I wanted to be prepared for the possibility of COVID-19 hitting us over here and saw it as an incredible learning opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and learn how to keep my residents safe, secure and well cared for.

Do you feel prepared to respond to an outbreak?

The training has helped me to remain focused, competent and confident in facing a COVID-19 outbreak in an Aged Care Home. Our training was intensive about many things I would not have considered to be included.

What have you enjoyed the most about the training?

I have enjoyed all the training because it didn't just focus on practical skills like donning (putting on the protective gear) and doffing (taking it off again).

We had lots of outside presenters with a great variety of things for us to learn. We had heaps of online learning to cram in too which was very educational but also fun to learn.

What has been your biggest learning?

I never thought there needed to be a sequence to getting dressed and undressed. I know that this is what is going to keep me safe by paying attention to what I'm doing, but also noticing and looking out for colleagues and helping keep them safe too.

I'm already encouraging my work colleagues to make sure they wash their hands properly every time (don't wait for COVID to arrive) and practise taking off your gloves the 'COVID-safe' way.

What have you learnt that can be used beyond an outbreak?

The modules helped us recognise our personality traits and understand why we work the way we do. It got us thinking about how we interact with our colleagues and even our own family members, and we learnt some tips and strategies to help us in our everyday communication.

We were introduced to ‘grounding’ practises and to 'take a knee' when we are feeling overwhelmed or just needing to refocus on the priorities of the job amidst a stressful environment

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