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BCFE’s Healthcare Skills to Advance Initiative

Ballyfermot College of Further Education hosts vital upskilling training programmes for Healthcare Workers through the Skills to Advance Initiative.

At a time of huge uncertainty, in the midst of a global pandemic with the Healthcare sector grappling with the impact of Covid 19, Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE) responded by offering vital upskilling programmes to key workers within the sector and hosted four Skills to Advance QQI Level 5 Infection Prevention & Control programmes. Particularly focusing on nursing homes and those working within the Homeless Services the college worked with employers to ensure the programmes were scheduled at a time that enabled them to support and release staff.

The Infection Prevention & Control module, which City of Dublin ETB, converted to a Blended/Online offering was scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays over 4 weeks.  Learners were supported by one-to-one tutorials each Wednesday and where required, supports including IT were provided.  Over a period of four months BCFE hosted four cohorts of learners with many of the learners achieving a QQI Level 5 Component Certificate in Infection Prevention & Control.

The course allowed the Skills to Advance participants to develop an understanding of the importance of infection prevention and control in the various settings at work and at home.  It took into consideration the standard precautions and practical skills required to decontaminate equipment, hand hygiene techniques and management of inoculation and accidental exposures to blood and bodily fluids.

A variety of learners participated including Care Assistants from the Nursing Home sector and frontline workers from organisations such as the Peter McVerry Trust.

“The course on Infection Control has been great a learning tool, it was a clear and well explained course and the tutor was helpful and generous with her time all through it by making herself available with Zoom calls and emails and helping us to get a clear understanding of everything involved in Infection control.  I am glad I put myself forward to do this course and come away feeling confident on my knowledge of Infection control. Thank you.”

R.G. Cohort 2

“I have learned most of all that if every single person took a moment to perform effective hand hygiene, to be mindful around food hygiene, as simple as it sounds then our world might be a much safer place to live. I am grateful to my Tutor, my classmates and the college for affording me the opportunity to be a part of something so important especially in the times we currently live.”

L.P. Cohort 2

Feedback from Richard Zipser, the Manager of Tritonville Close Sheltered Housing for older people in Sandymount, Dublin, was very positive and he found the training to be instrumental in formulating and embedding new practices by both management and staff across his facility. Richard who also completed the programme achieved a Distinction – Congratulations Richard!!

Ballyfermot College look forward to continuing to support the Healthcare and other sectors through its Skills to Advance provision.

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