Being a TALK Champion and a Marie Curie Fellow

By Andrea Davies-Tuthill

It has been a great opportunity and privilege for to have been given a place on the TALK project, and I feel that throughout, the inspirational nature of the project has had a positive effect on others.

I have met some really positive role models through this experience, and even though I am not always perfect in the way that I approach situations, I think that I have made a real difference in highlighting and analysing multiple situations and improving patient care and staff wellbeing by supporting them through their day to day work and their educational needs.

I am a registered nurse in the theatre department with almost 30 years nursing experience in a variety of different settings, due to the fact that I have also been a committed member of the Army Reserve an organisation which I serve with great passion. I have had a very varied full life both in the NHS and military and have been given a lot of support to develop academically, personally and professionally.

My present role is as a clinical leader/mentor in the Short Stay Surgical Unit, and as a Major in charge of the Field Surgical team in 203 Welsh Field Hospital. I am extremely passionate about both of these roles and my team and patients mean the world to me. They are the main reason for my involvement in the TALK project. I am committed to patient care and improving the education of myself and others in my team.

Through the support of The TALK team I have arranged multiple study events, the first for 50 people in the University of South Wales with practical support from the army. Academic delivery was carried out by The TALK team and then simulation was used to provide a clinical context for practising the TALK tool. This was an amazing success and educated many different teams in the UHB about emergency care, and the importance of debriefing after critical incidents or positive events.

Secondly, I was asked to provide practical explanation about monitoring and defibrillation by members of the surgical team. I enlisted the help of my consultant colleagues to do this and a

practical demonstration was carried out to educate, remind and boost the confidence of the staff. The feedback was very positive and staff went on to use these skills in a constructive way.

Thirdly, I was asked to organise a conference for auxiliary nurses within the peri-operative

environment. Many of the staff had expressed an interest in learning more about clinical debriefing as they felt this was an area of our practice that needed work. Cristina Diaz-Navarro presented the concepts to the team. She has the ability to make everyone feel valued. When they worked through feelings and situations they had encountered they gained a valuable insight into debriefing. Many of these staff now initiate debriefings themselves.

Their positivity was reflected in evaluation comments that had been made, and the nursing

auxiliaries from the ward are now using TALK as a result of this training.

I have used the TALK tool to work through many complex situations for example to improve patient care following a major haemorrhage, and to report back to a military range master on the effectiveness of a rescue hoist that we used whilst exercising in some tunnels. He needed to make a report in the form of a clinical debrief and the team put me forward to help with this. We were able to discuss the different patients that the hoist would be effective for and those it would not depending on injuries sustained.

Coming to Barcelona I have been involved in planning, simulation academic writing, information technology, various clinical experiences, debriefing and reflection. This has really made a difference about how I think and look at the world it has made me feel a great positivity. Even this morning l got feedback from a team member in SSSU as to how a piece of equipment we had debriefed about some time ago, has been granted and sent to the department. This shows the power of debriefing. It can help you get what you need to improve patient care and make a better working environment for the staff.

I could go on all day about what the TALK project has done for me, I will ensure that the benefit of my experiences will be shared with everyone I possibly can. I would like to thank my directorate and everyone involved in the project for giving me this insight and allowing me to become a Marie Curie


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under MSCA-RISE grant agreement number 734753

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