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Innovative life support training extended to nursing students

Queen’s University Belfast has launched the first UK immediate life support (ILS) course for undergraduate nursing students.

The ILS course, developed by the UK Resuscitation Council, aims to boost students’ confidence in their abilities to practise assessment, treatment and defibrillator technique.

The course was previously only open to qualified nurses, said staff from the university’s school of nursing last week at a British Association of Critical Care Nurses conference in Belfast.

Billiejoan Rice, a teaching fellow in undergraduate nursing sciences and one of those delivering the course, said: “The ILS course is generally reserved for trained staff, but given that the general hospital wards treat more acutely ill patients than ever, there is a need to ensure that our undergraduate nurses are well-trained in recognising and treating patients who suddenly become unwell.

“Anxiety and lack of confidence are known to be key factors adversely affecting the assessment and management of acutely ill patients by healthcare professionals,” she said.

“Our feedback shows that the course helps make the students better nurses and that can only be good for patients,” she added.

Readers' comments (3)

  • I think that this a brilliant idea. I would definitely benefit from this course and would only hope that it is taken on board by other hospitals across the country.

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  • Whilst I agree that the ILS course is invaluable, Queen's University is not the first in the UK to offer this to their undergraduates. Stirling University made this a compulsory component of their undergraduate course in 2007, and I have since gone on the be re-credited in 2009. It is a very worthwhile course and every university should offer it.

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  • I graduated from the Highland Campus of the University of Stirling at Inverness in 2006 and all our cohort had participated in the ILS course as part of our undergraduate course. So whilst the Belfast course is without doubt beneficial to students they are by no means the first uni to offer it. I also agree that all institutions should make it a compulsory component of their courses

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