Get 21 May in your diary – that’s HCA Day at RCN Congress in Liverpool. Make sure you’re there for a jam-packed day of free training and development.
We’re covering the key issues that HCAs all over the UK face day-in, day-out: delirium, sepsis and frailty are just some of the clinical topics we’ll address head-on. There’s also a chance to expand your knowledge about suicide awareness and gang violence.
If you attend a HCA Day study event you’ll get a certificate as a record of your learning. You can show this to your employer as evidence of the benefits of coming along.
Getting this kind of professional development on your CV can really benefit your career too.
Of course, if you can make it for the whole of Congress, that’s even better as there’s so much going on throughout the week. But however long you can come for, let’s make 2019 the year that health practitioner members really make their mark on the RCN’s flagship conference.
What is Congress?
It’s a free conference with learning and development events for all nursing staff. It includes a huge nursing exhibition and a debating programme for all RCN members.
You don’t even have to be a member to attend. If you know a HCA who might benefit from some free training, why not invite them to come along too?
Could you help save a life?
Suicide awareness is one of the study events available for HCAs at RCN Congress this year
Those who feel suicidal usually don’t want to die. But they struggle to see an end to the distress that they feel.
Who can help these people? Everyone, according to Mike Caulfield. He works with people at risk of suicide and delivers trust-wide training on suicide prevention in his role as an advanced nurse practitioner for rehabilitation.
He believes HCAs in particular are crucial when it comes to getting the message across.
“Wherever you work and whatever field you practise in, as frontline health care professionals, you’re likely to have face-to-face contact with people at risk of suicide,” he says. “It’s important that you’re confident to have conversations that address the issue and signpost people to help.”
Mike’s presenting a free suicide awareness study event at the HCA Day at RCN Congress on 21 May. He’ll address the ambivalence that many people contemplating suicide feel and provide helpful information on how to have conversations that could save lives.
Individuals contemplating suicide want the emotional pain that they are feeling to stop
“I’ll look at the thinking process many people go through,” he says. “Individuals contemplating suicide want the emotional pain that they are feeling to stop but they can’t see an end to the sense of entrapment they often have.
"We need to find a way of addressing what’s causing their distress and encourage individuals to have the confidence to say something that will help.”
Mike, who also volunteers as the welfare officer at the City of Liverpool Football Club, says he’s looking forward to meeting HCAs at the event as he is determined to get the message out that lives can be saved.
“Suicide is a wider public health issue and it’s very important that we get the prevention and awareness message across in many different ways,” he says.
If you can't attend the RCN Congress training event on suicide awareness, Mike says there’s lots of resources available online.