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CEC supports COVID-19 swab testing

16th June 2020


Ann King, Nurse Education Consultant in primary and older people education, CEC Craigavon, was offered the opportunity of redeployment to the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) to assist in the important task of coordination and swab testing for Covid-19 with staff and residents in the nursing and residential homes the Southern Trust area. To carry out this role Ann was based at Edenderry House, Portadown and partnered with Northern Ireland Ambulance crew member and paramedic Andy for an initial two week period.

The swabbing task was carried out using a partnership approach with one person being the “swabbing partner” and the other staff member a “clean partner”.  This ensured correct labelling and management of the completed swab and in keeping with infection prevention control measures. Swabs were then transported directly to the laboratory at Craigavon Area Hospital.

Ann reported that the staff and residents were always so welcoming and grateful to meet with the team and felt that having this opportunity was a privilege.  She was particularly impressed by  the care and attention given to residents, especially recognising the work that went into overcoming the challenges of caring and communicating with the older person whilst wearing PPE.  One of the most memorable moments for Ann was witnessing the compassion and care of a home manager whilst telling Ann with pride that their home had remained free of Covid-19 and all residents were well.  Ann reports that she has welcomed this experience that will no doubt enhance her teaching and infection prevention knowledge.   Ann found this experience to be positive and uplifting.