The RECOVER Initiative CPR Training an overview. I’ve always been a bit of an ICU/Critical Care bod and I love the adrenaline and the high you get when nursing these super critical patients. Often though what comes with super critical is also the likelihood of a ‘crash’ or cardio pulmonary arrest. For me this is an area that is sorely neglected in Vet Nurse Training and very much depends on the individual and the practice they are within. Having spoken to my vet colleagues they would also agree.
This is why I was so excited to embark on the RECOVER initiative training. Whilst the RECOVER initiative isn’t that new the online course and the training sessions seem to have become more visible, perhaps thanks to social media? In summary it started with an online course in Basic life support (BLS) and then progressed onto Advanced life support (ALS)
The RECOVER Initiative CPR Training: BLS
Each of these are run as separate courses and are stand alone, in that you receive a certificate for each of them. The BLS was straightforward enough but not without challenges and I learnt huge amounts from it. A lot of this I have covered over on instagram but most useful tip is that about Capnography. During CPR we need to be aiming for an ETC02 of at least 15 mmHg. Studies in dogs have linked this with successful outcomes in CPR. So ensure you are keeping an eye on this. It’ll also give you an idea of how effective your chest compressions are.
The A&P section was somewhat more challenging and got the old brain cells out from hibernation. Amazing how much of it is easily forgotten. As the course progress though it became apparent how important that recap was. The online course is one of the best I’ve done. This is true in terms of layout, ease of use and also content.
The RECOVER Initiative CPR Training: ALS
Then I got onto the second section, the ALS and this is where is got really interesting. IT covered the use of drug therapy, I know this is a grey area for RVNs in terms of ‘prescribing’ them but regardless of this a good knowledge of the affect these have on the body is still essential, especially if you work in an ECC environment. A point to note though is the drug names and availability will differ between the UK and US so you may want to double check.
It covered ECGs, how to interpret them, spot what was abnormal and what would be PEA, pulse less electrical activity. The way this was taught was exceptional. A very detailed explanation followed by looking at ECGS and providing an answer. There is plenty of feedback and the whole course is interactive. If looking at an ECG and being able to spot V-Tach, PEA, V-fib and Sinus tachycardia is a challenge for you then this course may help. Keep in mind though the ECG leads are different in the US so this did flummox me at times.
Then it was onto use of the De-Fib. Something that some of you may have in practice although I suspect it may be rare in first opinion, correct me if I am wrong but I have never seen one on my travels. We do have one at work and it’s quite an intimidating piece of kit. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as when used incorrectly the consequences can be dire. Used well though and it has it’s place.
I feel a lot more confident using the RECOVER algorithm to determine when it’s appropriate to use the De-Fib and also what charge to use.
The RECOVER Initiative CPR Training: Would I do it again?
The price for both these courses is less than £100 and honestly it was superb value for money. I recommend it to everyone! For your students, nursing assistants even receptionists (depending on how hands on they are) may want to start with the BLS, eventually the student VNs will want to do the ALS but it may be a bit overwhelming to start with. VNs and Vets though should consider doing both parts. Even if you don’t have a De-Fib the drug guidance could be useful regardless of the type of practice you are in. Once the online course has been completed you can then become a Rescuer, this is what started the trip to Tallin.
If anyone does do it let me know, I’d love to hear your feedback!