UCD Covid-19 Response

The UCD Community is rising to the challenge posed by the global pandemic

UCD offers free online critical care courses for ICU nurses of Covid-19 patients


UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems has developed freely accessible online courses for nurses working with critical Covid-19 patients.

The courses were developed by teaching staff Katie Wedgeworth, Dr Rita Smith and Orla Daly and developed specifically for critical care nurses working in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and registered nurses relocated to assist and support ICU nurses in High Dependency Units (HDUs) and ICUs – as well as nurse educators.

Covid-19 Coronavirus: ICU and HDU Nursing contains 15 elements covering: general information about the virus; infection control and PPE usage; respiratory support and mechanical ventilation; nursing management; haemodynamic monitoring and non-invasive ventilation (NIV).

Nursing the Acutely Ill Covid-19 Patient is the second 15-part course and includes: symptoms of Coronavirus Covid-19; safety and infection control; oxygen delivery in acute illness; early symptoms of acute illness and deterioration guided by an Early Warning Score (EWS); assessment strategies and interventions guided by EWS; and effective communication using the SBAR approach.

Dr Rita Smith wrote on behalf of the teaching staff involved: "As nurse educators in the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems we found ourselves in a situation where we were immediately drawn to the needs of our clinical colleagues, post graduate and undergraduate nursing students who were facing an unprecedented public health crisis.

In collaboration with our nursing colleagues in the Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director (ONMSD), we were cognisant that our nursing workforce is very well educated and has the skills to deliver the care needed in many specialty areas. However, the Covid-19 emergency posed new challenges and concerns about our health service capacity to provide care.

"We knew also that many clinical colleagues were being deployed to acute care areas and they needed an accessible resource to update their knowledge. A quick response was needed to prepare a resource to embrace the clinical challenges presented by the Covid-19 crisis. We recognised and responded to a service-led demand for openly accessible, up to date, targeted resources to support and up-skill staff being deployed to the front line. Our focus was on the usefulness of the resources in supporting clinical staff. 

"The content was collated from the many available evidenced-based resources sourced through our excellent UCD Library service. We were very fortunate that out school Educational Technologists had the expertise to assist with a swift production.

"Our focus was to reach as many clinical colleagues as possible. Our nursing colleagues in ONMSD requested that the ICU/HDU learning resource be placed on the HSE Land platform making it available to all registered nurses in Ireland. The Head of School agreed that the courses should be made openly available via a link on the UCD SNMHS Covid-19 webpage.

 All parts of the healthcare system have been affected by this pandemic, we are delighted to contribute in whatever way we can to support our clinical colleagues and students. We are very grateful for the positive feedback this contribution has received".