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BASIC course develops passion for education


For Mater Education’s Dr Bruce Lister and Stephanie Barwick, the development of a specialised course for intensive care staff has turned into a passion for education which has seen them travel extensively to deliver training overseas.

The Paediatric Basic Assessment and Support in Intensive Care (BASIC) course was developed by a small group of Paediatric Intensivists including  Clinical Simulation Director Dr Lister. The course has been developed to improve the level of knowledge and skills for junior doctors and nurses in paediatric  intensive care.  The paediatric BASIC course is one of a group of BASIC courses hosted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong with the goal of improving access to education particularly for resource poor countries.

“Intensive Care Units require specialist skills and often junior medical and nursing staff have not received significant training in this area prior to working on the unit,” Dr Lister said.

“There are existing courses from the US but they aren’t conducive to change or very flexible and the beauty of the paediatric BASIC course we now teach at Mater Education is that, with a little tweaking, it can be applied in a variety of settings and countries.

“The principle of the BASIC course is that it is not-for-profit so that any surplus made from running the courses at Mater Education goes towards running the courses overseas and providing the educational materials for free.  Everywhere we go we aim to train local nurses and doctors to deliver the course themselves.”

“The course is packaged and prepared with skill stations and workshops and we incorporate as much simulation as we can using techniques learned at Mater Education.”

To date the course has been run in countries including Romania, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Cambodia, Fiji some Caribbean countries, Vietnam and Bali and, through word of mouth, the team have received interest from countries including Cuba and Haiti who are keen to run courses in the future.

“We do see the impact of providing this training overseas.  Education is so desperately needed and by the end of the course we see teams starting to work together, doctors and nurses communicating with each other and learning to de-brief as a team,” Dr Lister said.

Education Coordinator Stephanie Barwick works closely with Dr Lister and is instrumental in providing strategic expertise in course development.

“The last course we ran in Bali we held in ahotel with minimal equipment, which was a challenge, but it’s important for us to demonstrate that you don’t need advanced equipment to run this course.  Even without the equipment and high fidelity mannequins you can generate robust conversations about what could work better,” Stephanie said.

Since 2012 more than 100 paediatric BASIC courses have been delivered worldwide, with  more than 300 instructors and more than 2000 students receiving training.

Other BASIC courses have also been developed including Adult BASIC, Beyond Basic – Mechanical Ventilation, Beyond Paediatric BASIC, Paediatric BASIC for nurses and a Neonatal BASIC course is planned to be developed in 2017.

“Our focus for the next ten years is developing more BASIC courses for nurses.  Nurses are integral in delivering better patient outcomes,” Dr Lister said.

For 2017 there are plans to deliver another course in Cambodia and one in India, as well as running an Adult BASIC course at Mater Education in January and a Paediatric BASIC on 4-5 February at Mater Education.

“This is an awesome example of the benefit of the Mater mission in the Education space and it can have a global impact,” Dr Lister said.

“We have had some wonderful experiences and outcomes from delivering the Paediatric BASIC course.  The most rewarding part is creating networks and relationships between teams to facilitate collaborative working.

“This networking has been so successful that we’ve even had a couple who met and fell in love on a BASIC course and are now married!”