'This level of skill needs financial support'

Tricia Scott looks at new standards in treating trauma patients.

For some years emergency nurses have speculated about what a competent standard of emergency nursing should look like. This is particularly important when managing complex trauma cases.

The Trauma Quality Improvement Network System (TQuINS) was created to assess whether trauma care is safe and carried out by practitioners proficient in dealing with complex cases.

Clear standards

The trauma nursing competencies are part of NHS England’s National Trauma Review Programme, and the National Major Trauma Nursing Group (NMTNG) was launched in April to set clear and unambiguous standards of emergency nursing.

By September 2016 all UK emergency departments accepting trauma patients will have been assessed against these new standards for the knowledge and training of emergency nurses.

Much good work has been initiated but, no matter how well-intended the system is, uncertainty remains concerning key operational aspects.

Financial support

The notion of round-the-clock availability of emergency nurses, including paediatric nurses, trained to the stated standard needs to be logically worked out because this level of skill requires financial support.

Additionally, where patients would clearly benefit from the close proximity of the most experienced members of the team it is likely that these staff may move into managerial positions. In reality less experienced emergency nurses are allocated to work in resuscitation.

24/7 cover

Similarly, recommended 24/7 cover by paediatric emergency nurses also needs to be thought through.

Often when standards are set they provide a measure against which practices will be judged. However, there seems to be a real need to consider how the TQuINS recommendations might work across the trauma landscape and how affordable training to support this significant move forward may be accessed.

About the author

Tricia Scott is consultant editor of Emergency Nurse

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