Adapting medical gas training under the ‘new normal’

Eastwood Park – which has recently welcomed back learners, says that, unsurprisingly – given the crucial role that oxygen has played in treating patients with COVID-19 – medical gas training has proven especially popular.

The training establishment has implemented a number of measures to ensure learners still benefit from its usual high standard of practical training without compromising their safety. Michael Ell, Medical Gas Portfolio manager, explained: “In line with the social distancing policies in place around the site, we have created additional workstations for activities such as brazing to allow learners extra room to carry out their practical activities in smaller groups. We are also making PPE available to all learners.

“As always, we continue to ensure that our courses reflect the latest standards and guidance, including COVID-19 guidance. For example, the Design note: COVID-19 ward for intubated patients (Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) standard operating procedure) is now covered in the course materials for our Authorised Person MGPS (HTM 02) course.”

Last November, Eastwood Park welcomed  highly experienced Authorised Person (MGPS),  Mark Williams to its ‘in-house’ Eastwood Park training team as a Medical Gas trainer.

Michael Ell said: “Having Mark join us means we can achieve the Government’s requirements around social distancing better than ever. With both of us on hand, we have been able to enhance our practical training offering with a higher trainer-to-learner ratio.” Mark Williams added:  “While the perception might be that COVID-19 will mean a reduction in the time spent available for practical training , two trainers means Eastwood Park can split learners into smaller groups within the class for practical exercises, which is safer, and means that all learners have much greater opportunity to get involved and utilise equipment.”

With the backlog created by the pandemic, Eastwood Park is seeing significant demand for its medical gas courses stretching into the new year. However, the two trainers stress, if the ideal training date appears to be ‘fully booked’, organisations should still get in touch as regards their training needs.

Michael Ell added: “We are reviewing our availability week by week, and are looking to put on additional Competent and Authorised Person training dates throughout the year. With both of us working in-house specifically on Eastwood Park’s medical gas training portfolio, we are well placed to cater for increased demand.”