Last week we held our first ever Nutrition in Emergencies Training Course. This course was developed to ensure our clinicians have a good understanding of how malnutrition affects the people we care for when deployed overseas, and our approach to recognising, treating and referring to nutrition services, those that require specialist treatment. The course also prepared the participants to undertake the role of Nutrition Focal Point during UK Emergency Medical Team deployments, a vital role to assist the clinicians and Medical Team Lead to fulfil our nutrition mandate and promote good practice.

UK Emergency Medical Team register member Kristy O’Brien said of the training “As a nurse working in Sheffield Teaching Hospital Major Trauma Center, I am aware of the importance of good nutrition when recovering from injury and illness, but before this course I hadn’t imagined how nutrition might play such a vital role during an emergency overseas deployment.

I was joined on the course by a diverse group of nurses, doctors and health care professionals from all over the UK- most of them employed within the NHS, and all keen to learn more. I think we quickly realised how lucky we were to have Alexandra Perera from Action Against Hunger to walk us through the important points of recognising acute malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies- and the “must know” information of how to look after an injured or sick person who is also malnourished.

Another enjoyable aspect of training with UK-Med is meeting the other members- getting to know them and finding out about their experiences during deployments. There are lots of different personalities, professional backgrounds and experiences but we all have a common goal- to be as prepared as possible, to do the best job possible, wherever that may be.”