Text: Camille Andres
Photo: Heidi Diaz

Tandem: Lucie Charbonneau and Raul Prieto

Lucie Charbonneau and Raul Prieto have developed a remote training programme to address a sensitive subject: preventing pressure ulcers.



CHUV’s training platform

In 2009, 19.2% of patients at the CHUV developed pressure ulcers, skin sores primarily resulting from a lack of movement. Every year, about 1,000 patients are at risk of developing the condition. “Pressure ulcers – collateral damage caused by hospitalisation – affect the patient’s quality of life and can extend their hospital stay,” says Lucie Charbonneau, a nurse at the CHUV.

Following her training in Quebec, Lucie Charbonneau came to the CHUV in 1994 and became specialised in wounds and healing in 2005. She was appointed to head the “Zero pressure ulcer” programme launched at the CHUV in 2009. The wound care specialist quickly singled out one major need: training for health care personnel, especially new employees. “Pressure ulcers require medical treatment, but preventing them is the role of nurses and auxiliaries. It’s complicated, because patients need to be cared for in a specific way that is not always taught in school,” she says. “What’s most difficult is for auxiliaries to intervene when a potential problem could occur. Caring for patients is complex, and other important medical aspects often take priority.”

The challenge at hand is an educational one. But, from a practical standpoint, how can such a large number of employees be trained? Should classroom courses be provided? Too complicated, too costly and too long. Could remote training, or e-learning, offer an efficient alternative? Lucie Charbonneau has been working with Raul Prieto since late 2011 on that very issue. Raul Prieto, the head of educational technology and communication at the CHUV Training Centre, specialised in e-learning in 2008 and boasts both educational and IT expertise.

Together, Lucie Charbonneau and Raul Prieto are developing a four-hour training programme for young hospital staff members newly hired at the CHUV. “Lucie has brought her expertise on the subject, while I’ve contributed to learning methods,” says Raul Prieto. What’s on the programme? Quizzes, interactive exercises, videos and simulations.

Newly hired nurses complete a questionnaire, which is used to assess their knowledge about pressure ulcers. If less than 65% of their answers are correct, the nurses are asked to take the training programme developed by Lucie Charbonneau and Raul Prieto during their three-month trial period. The course is available on the CHUV’s remote training platform.

Their training programme is bringing results. Since its launch in 2014, 300 staff members have taken the course. Nearly 80% of them pass the final exam. Trainees who fail are asked to repeat the module or take a traditional training course. In December 2014, the occurrence of pressure ulcers at the CHUV stood at 10.3%, only half the previous number! Starting this autumn, the training is expected to be available for all the hospital’s medical staff.