March 29, 2022

Bhutan reported its first 14 cases of the Omicron variant this January. Since then, to contain the highly infectious variant, educating health workers about omicron, its transmissibility, and its severity has become a priority. For this, the Wangdicholing Hospital in Bumthang District organized a two-day training on Continued Medical Education (CME) on the Omicron variant and a refresher course on doffing and donning of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). There were 83 participants comprising clinical staff, non-clinical staff, and DeSuups. 

The hospital conducted this training for all staff to update themselves on the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The hospital formed a dedicated team to handle Omicron-infected patients and identify places and relevant staff to run OPD if there were outbreaks in the hospital. This training would also ensure the hospital staff makes no mistakes in donning and doffing the PPEs during an emergency. 

Additionally, the hospital conducted another CME on operating the Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) machine and its interpretation. The general nurses, Minor Operation Theatre nurses, and General Duties Medical officers attended the training. This training provided a consistent, thorough, and efficient technique to interpret the ABG through practical sessions. After the training, the hospital came up with various standard operating procedures for all critical chronic respiratory patients. They would conduct future training depending on requirements in the future. 

“Considering the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, it was a timely initiative to conduct continuing medical education (CME) on infection control and simulation exercise on PPEs donning and doffing. It made me confident to handle the emergency as a health worker. It also helped me use and distribute PPEs rationally, being in charge of PPE at our health center. This training wouldn’t have happened without the financial support from the Bhutan Foundation. On behalf of all the health workers of Wangdicholing Hospital, I would like to thank Bhutan Foundation for their unwavering support.” –Kipchu Pharmacist.