A Passion for Renal Education

I’m so excited!

I have a real passion for renal and have made it my mission in life to improve the knowledge of anyone who will listen about kidneys and how to care for patients with renal disease. I’m a bit like my cat – I don’t like being told ‘no’ so am always on the lookout for ways to deliver education in new and innovative ways. I’ve found networking is key to this and in this blog post want to talk a bit about how collaboration has resulted in some excellent educational resources.

AKI was increasingly coming to the fore, so I started including information on AKI in the study days I deliver several years ago. Initially, it was a bit of an ‘add on’ but with the introduction of the NICE Guideline 182 on AKI and an increasing emphasis on prevention and detection, this steadily grew. If nagging and harassment were an Olympic sport I’d at least be in the running for a medal – AKI and/or renal in general feature in many of the courses run within our department – this includes pre and post registration nursing courses as well as undergraduate non-professional degrees. Much of the collaboration for these sessions is in the form of renal specialists and patients coming and delivering talks – always well received and gives a perspective of real life that can sometimes be missed in higher education.

However, study leave is scarce and we need to look at alternative ways to get information across to all staff, regardless of grade. Working with Louise Wild, an AKI Nurse Educator at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, we created a short animation that highlighted some key points related to AKI and signposted staff to where they could get further information and support. We were able to share expertise and resources – Louise’s knowledge of what was needed on the ‘shop floor’ and my expertise in helping to structure and present this. The animation will be available on the Desktop of computers and the clinical areas enabling anyone to access and watch it. And at 2 minutes in length it shouldn’t bore the pants of people and will be able to be viewed in one go rather than in snatched moments as other elearning can so often be! The animation can be seen on the Think Kidneys Educational Resources page.

The Director General of the BBC, Tony Hall, recently outlined how collaboration would be key in changing and developing the corporation over the coming years. I feel the same is true of education. We need to stop viewing Universities as purely academic institutions and look at how we can share resources to produce innovative education. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as excited as I do now about the possibilities and the opportunities to raise awareness about renal disease and really make a difference.

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