20th February 2023

Mater Private Network receives NMBI accreditation for its in-house Anaesthetic and Recovery training programme.

Location: Dublin

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) has approved Mater Private Network's in-house training programme for Anaesthetic and Recovery nurses. This course has been accredited by NMBI in Category 1 with 23 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Due to limited Anaesthetic and Recovery course/training available for registered nurses in Ireland, the programme aims to address the lack of skilled  Anaesthetic and  Recovery nurses, as well as to provide the registered nurse with on-going education and a career pathway in Anaesthetic and Recovery care.


The idea

In 2021, clinical facilitators at Mater Private Network Dublin, Malar Karupusamy and Myrtle Power, as well as theatre manager Deirdre Crosskill and clinical nurse manager Geraldine Keartland, noted that there were not enough experienced nursing staff in the field of anaesthetics and recovery. There was a clear gap in both practical experience and theoretical knowledge when recruiting new nursing staff, with numerous vacant positions across Ireland. Malar, who has worked in Anaesthetics and Recovery since 2004 explains: ‘Working in theatre is a critical care area - nurses need critical thinking for emergency situations. It is essential to understand how  to react in emergency situations’. 

Together with Deirdre, Malar and Myrtle proposed developing an in-house training course with the support of director of nursing Geraldine Clerkin, which would not only support the delivery of improved standard of patient care, but would also provide a career pathway for nurses, supporting both the retention and recruitment of registered nurses into this highly specialised field.


Delivering the course

Prior to setting up the programme, Malar, who has worked in Anaesthetics and Recovery since 2004, undertook a Health Profession in Education course in UCD where she learned curriculum development and different methods of teaching and learning which helped with the delivery of the programme. More recently Malar has registered as a Nurse Tutor  with NMBI. 

The course, which runs for seven to eight weeks, comprises one block day a week of both theory and practical classes, with lectures delivered by clinical facilitators and anaesthetists from Mater Private Network, together with Clinical Nurse Specialists from relevant departments such as Haemovigilance & Pain Management. There is a strong emphasis on the practical side of the course and nurse participants are brought into theatre to view demonstrations of an array of anaesthetic procedures. The course also focuses on explaining the vital supporting role the Anaesthetic nurse has in assisting Anaesthetic doctors and consultants. 



Launch and ongoing development

The first training programme was run in August 2021, with three participants who had no anaesthetic background experience. Since then, the course has been run successfully six times, with eighteen (18) nurses having completed the  Anaesthesia and Recovery course.

Co-founder Myrtle, who has over  20 years’ experience in Anaesthetics and Recovery, emphasised the importance of participant feedback, explaining how evaluations from both nurses and tutors play a vital role in the ongoing development of the programme. “We are constantly trying to improve and re-evaluate the course so it is as beneficial for the nurses as possible ”. Malar has found that as word spreads around the hospital more senior nurses are becoming interested in the training programme, both in terms of upskilling and in some cases, nurses from other departments who relocated to theatre have successfully completed the course to support their career change.  


Looking to the future

Further development plans include offering the course to other relevant nursing staff. Currently anaesthetic nurses are taken from the theatre to assist anaesthetist in the Cath Lab procedures such as  Cardiac ablation, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) and Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). Training the Cath Lab nurses in Anaesthetics and Recovery will be more beneficial for both departments to provide high quality care to the patients.


A note on NMBI Accreditation

The course received NMBI Category 1 Course approval with 23 CEUs on July 27th 2022. This confirms Mater Private Network’s position as a healthcare provider that is supportive of further education and the development of its nursing staff, as well as of creating opportunities for nurses in other areas.