Your donations fund advanced training for staff

When you think of The ARCHIE Foundation and the work it does to help sick children, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital might be the first thing to pop into your head. 

You may also think of the Family Centre within the hospital giving accommodation close to their little ones during tough times. 

Participants learnt life support techniques on the ARCHIE funded course.

But The ARCHIE Foundation does more than within the confines of the ward walls.

The Archie Foundation can pay for enhanced or advanced staff training, not provided by NHS core funding.

Recently, a group of a dozen health professionals gathered to take part in a course funded by the official charity of the Aberdeen children’s hospital. 

Attendees included nurses from RACH but also community nurses and a doctor from afar afield as Orkney who will use the skills learned to treat patients in their own homes or out in public. 

Some work with children daily while others are from an adult nursing background. Regardless of experience, the course provided all with training and knowledge in how to stabilise child in life-threatening emergencies. 

Emma Gough works in children’s A&E and led the course held within the simulation ward at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. 

Course leader Emma Gough, left, watches on as RACH nurse Jenny Barnes practices her new skills.

ARCHIE covers the cost of the course enabling health workers the chance to learn these vital skills. 

She explains: “The course is paediatric life support – so they’ll learn all about how to initially manage a sick or injured child, how to look at that sick child and to put in any initial management stages.  

“They also familiarise themselves with all the emergency equipment that’s on the ward, emergency protocols and it will give them the chance to do some simulations in a safe environment so they can learn how to put all these things together.” 

“The ARCHIE Foundation has been really good – they’ve funded me for the last couple of years. One of my jobs was to set up a life support course, because we didn’t have one in Aberdeen before.  

“I went to the ARCHIE Foundation and spoke to them about it and what I wanted to do and my aims and they were very supportive.” 

Participants on the course are given hands-on training in a number of scenarios including medical and trauma simulations.  

The course taught a range of life-saving skills to health professionals from across northern Scotland.

Mannequins are used to carry out basic life support training in situations such as cardiac arrests, choking, airways management and inserting lines for emergency fluids. 

While learning important skills, the course is held in a relaxed and fun environment with leaders on hand to offer help and give tips when required. 

Jenny Barnes is a theatre nurse at RACH who mainly works with anaesthetics. She said the course helped improve her and her colleagues’ skills.  

“I think it is important as nurses that we do keep our clinical skills up to date. 

“The course updates my skills in basic life support for paediatrics and I think that’s important for the role that I’ve got. I need to be aware of what I’m doing in making the right choices and decisions. 

“I think that the girls who run the course make it fun and informative and I think that is really important because if you come and you’re petrified you’re not going to learn anything. They are open about it – if you make mistakes we are all here to support one another and that’s good.” 

While staff at RACH may have others on hand to lend a hand, other NHS staff work alone.   

Valerie Webb is an advanced nurse practitioner working within the An Caorann medical practice in Aberchirder and Portsoy medical practice as well as working out in the community. 

She described the ARCHIE-funded course as ‘vital’ for her work. 

Valerie Webb (left) and Dr Vanushia Thirumal receive instructions from course educator Alison Moggach.

She said: “On a daily basis I can see quite acutely ill children and this course has been very beneficial for me to enhance my skills and to learn new skills also. 

“We don’t see emergencies often but we have to be prepared and ready to act fast as and when they happen and know how to manage them. 

“This course is beneficial because it’s nice to come in and meet other colleagues as well. We all work in different areas of the health service but we all see emergency situations.” 

Your money helps The ARCHIE Foundation fund a variety of projects, including training like this, which will directly benefit children and their families who need to spend time in hospital. 

A £10 donation can buy a toy or book to put a smile on the face of a child requiring treatment, while £20 can ensure parents can stay close to their little one in the ARCHIE Family Centre. 

Donations also go towards supporting families who struggle to meet travel or living costs while a child is treated and to providing specialist equipment to help a young patient in the wards or at home.

Click here to donate today.