Rapid resources to support healthcare professionals answering Ireland’s Call for COVID-19

Lead Researcher: Professor Alice Coffey, University of Limerick. Funded by: Irish Research Council and Health Research Board. Funding amount: €199,647.

Professor Alice Coffey
Professor Alice Coffey

In summary

A recent national ‘call to action’ has resulted in qualified nursing and other health professionals returning to practice, moving into new areas of practice or newly starting to practice, in order to support health services in the COVID-19 pandemic. These professionals are likely to benefit from additional resources to build their competence and confidence.

A project led by the University of Limerick will make online resources available, including answers to specific clinical questions to support individuals with queries. The information will be available through a website and on social media. This individualised readily available and relevant information will help healthcare professionals at the front-line dealing with COVID-19, as well as professional bodies more broadly dealing with the pandemic. The project will track the impact of the resources.

The problem

Following a call to action, many newly qualified healthcare professionals are entering practice, while other qualified healthcare professionals may be returning to practice following an absence or moving into new areas of practice. The core professional skills are intact, but changes will have occurred in terms of technology and routine practice underpinning the work assigned. This HRB-IRC funded innovation will link the individual health care professionals to evidence based advice for many clinical and practical problems.

The project

A project led by the Health Implementation Science and Technology Research Cluster at UL, will triage clinical and case specific queries posed by individual healthcare professionals and ensure evidence based, timely responses. Resources will be freely available online.

The outcomes

  • Healthcare professionals will have individualised rapid access to relevant, online information to support their clinical questions when they are entering, moving to different areas of practice or returning to practice to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The resources will help to build confidence and competence among healthcare professionals in their practice.
  • The online resources that this project will make available, will also support broader healthcare professionals and bodies in the pandemic.

Professor Alice Coffey, Professor of Nursing & Midwifery, and Lead of the Health Implementation Science Research Cluster at the University of Limerick, says:

'We believe that our individualised support will have practical and demonstrable impact on nursing and allied health professional’s confidence in commencing, returning to practice or moving to new areas of practice and will be of benefit to professional bodies during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Our project will be evaluated using a realist evaluation approach to examine the process and impact on professionals and their confidence and competence in practice. We believe that our innovation will help to reduce anxiety and build personal confidence in dealing with issues during Covid-19 but will also have wider application for professionals returning to the workplace'.

Professor Coffey speaks about the project on the HRB You Tube channel.

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