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Two specialised nursing care programmes have been developed by the MSF Academy: one for Operating Theatre nurses and one for Neonatal Intensive Care unit nurses.

The learners of both programmes must follow some Basic Clinical Nursing Care (BCNC) units before some of the OT or Neonatal programmes units, as prerequisites for these. How the learners will go through the prerequisite BCNC units may vary; either through specific sessions on this, or via e-learning, with the related clinical mentoring. The objective is to allow participants that did not follow the BCNC to fully understand and make the most out of their learning.

The Operating Theatre nursing care programme

The Operating Theatre (OT) nursing care programme is designed to support ongoing professional development of scrub nurses and circulating nurses.

The curriculum is designed with supporting documents for facilitation and mentoring. The content is organised in four modules, complemented by 48 skills to guide bedside mentorship sessions.

The OT programme is being implemented in Sierra Leone.

OT curriculum

Module A: Preparation for surgery

Module B: OT specific IPC

Module C: OT nursing care

Module D: Diagnostic process in the OT

An OT-specific Competency Gap Assessment (CGA) was developed to establish a knowledge and skills baseline, through the completion of a knowledge questionnaire and specific techniques that learners need to perform for competencies-level to be assessed.

The OT curriculum was originally conceived for learners having already undergone the BCNC programme, but this may not always be the case. For those ‘non-BCNC graduate’ learners, a list of prerequisite BCNC units was established and agreed upon, to make sure they have the indispensable bases before getting into specific OT content.

A learner adjusts her face mask during a skills lab session. ©MSF
A learner talking to her colleague in the operating theatre. ©Thomas Cytrynowicz

The Neonatal Nursing Care programme

The Neonatal nursing care programme started to be developed at the end of 2022, after a formal needs assessment was conducted as an initial step. The curriculum is based on MSF Neonatal Care guidelines. It complements the existing trainings available for MSF staff, potentially adapting the level of the content to staff with less prior background in the field.