NICCER is dedicated to promote critical care education and research any time and anywhere.

Depending on the needs, we provide education and research funds to help critical care professional to advance their education and research, and/or we also provide free or discounted courses for doctors in disadvantaged areas. In the latter, our footprints not only cover Australia but also other parts of the world, especially developing countries.

In 2022, with the lifting of COVID restrictions, we sent our RACEplus team to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to provide training in critical care echocardiography (RACEplus) to intensivists. We also sponsored a nurse to join the Nepean Hospital Intensive Care team to run a ventilation and sedation workshop. Below is what they want to share.

International experts gathered in echo courses in Brussels 2023 ISICEM

Our RACEplus team members joined forces with international experts in running a basic echocardiography (RACEplus) and an advanced echocardiography courses in the 42nd International Symposium of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (2023) in Brussels. The course director was Professor Anthony McLean (left, front row in the picture), and was supported by a real world class faculty team. 2023 marks the 19th Anniversary of the ISICEM echocardiography courses and most, if not all, of the original faculty members are still enthusiastically taking part in the teaching. The team welcomed a new young trainer Dr Emma Bowcock from Nepean Hospital since 2022. The picture above is a group photo of the faculty, from left: Dr Emma Bowcock, Professor Anthony McLean, Professor Michelle Chew, Dr Antoine Herpain, Professor Michel Slama, Professor Antoine Vieillard-Baron, Professor Daniel De Backer and Professor Stephen Huang. Missing in the photo was Professor Paul Mayo, who rushed off for another meeting before the photo was taken.

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NICCER support nurses in charitable activities

“I am incredible grateful for the experience that NICCER and the hospital has given me, as I have been able to expand not only my professional knowledge but my educating skills.”

Beth Wiggins, RN, ICU Nepean Hospital (March 2023)

I was fortunate enough to be sponsored by NICCER to travel with a team of Intensivists, Doctors, and Nurses to teach a Ventilation and Sedation workshop in Vietnam. This workshop took place at The Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City. I applied with an expression of interest advertised within my intensive care unit, to share current knowledge and educate both junior doctors and nurses about ventilation modes, difficulties of ventilation, reasons for intubation, and sedation techniques. I felt that my practical experience with airway management, mechanically ventilated patients and COVID 19 provided me with knowledge that would support fellow healthcare workers in a foreign country.

When arriving in Ho Chi Minh City myself and fellow colleagues, in the ventilation team met with the RACE team who accompanied us at the hospital throughout the week teaching. The workshop we provided to junior doctors and nurses included both theory and hands on practical sessions each day. The first day consisted of teaching different modes of ventilation, how to manage difficult ventilation, and basic airway management. Later in the afternoon the practical sessions included Intubating a patient, Basic Life Support and ventilator set up. It was a real eye opener for us to hear the different techniques our fellow doctors follow to intubate their patients and what choice of sedation they use due to the limited resources available.

Our next day consisted of non-invasive ventilation modes, analgesia, sedation and proning. When discussing analgesic and sedative choices they explained the reason why they choose midazolam over propofol as a sedative due to the cost and availability of the drugs. We are fortunate enough in Australia to have our medical needs funded by the government under Medicare, however the doctors at the hospital explained how a lot of patients must help pay towards their care provided. A conversation also evolved about the immediate response to the COVID 19 outbreak and how they received more resources such as High Flow oxygenation devices and transport ventilators. During our proning workshop some doctors were confident in the proning techniques whilst others benefited with some education on better techniques.

All the doctors who participated in the workshop were extremely grateful for the sharing of our knowledge and skills. They have invited us back for the year of 2023 and cannot wait to expand their knowledge. I am incredible grateful for the experience that NICCER and the hospital has given me, as I have been able to expand not only my professional knowledge but my educating skills. Everyone involved in the trip was so supportive of each other and I look forward to applying again for this year.

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Vietnam workshops (2017 – 2023)

“The success of RACEplus and ventilation training courses is evidence of how education connects people from different continents and countries…”

Dr Trieu Huynh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (March, 2023 )

The RACEplus has been introduced to Vietnam for the first time in 2017 on 7-8 Aug at Cho Ray Hospital and on 10-11 Aug at HTD. There were a hundred participants attending the course at Cho Ray Hospital and 25 participants at HTD. For the first time ever, I organized and attended a structural training course with a focus more on hands-on practice, the echo machine was put on the left side of the patient and all the trainers are the most famous experts in critical care ultrasound.  After the course, participants emailed me to thank the training team. RACEplus not only provides an important skill for doctors but also, on top of that, it opens a new area of interest and generated a strong passion in many Vietnamese intensivists for learning POCUS.

The training team from Nepean returned to Vietnam in 2018. This time, the Nepean team ran 2 RACEplus at Cho Ray and HTD, and ran two ventilation training courses at HTD. In 2019, RACEplus and ventilation courses were held at HTD and CIity Children’s hospital with a total of 100 doctors attending. The COVID-19 pandemic deterred the training of these courses in Vietnam for 2 years. However, Vietnamese doctors we are so privileged to welcome the Nepean team again 2022 who ran 2 courses of RACEplus, and 2 courses of ventilation training at HTD with more than 110 participants.

RACEplus and ventilation courses not only benefited doctors working at Cho Ray hospital and HTD but also many doctors from different hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Tre, Daklac, Long An, Tay Ninh, Dong Naiā€¦

The success of RACEplus and ventilation training courses is evidence of how education connects people from different continents and countries. It is also the achievement of the Nepean training team led by Prof Anthony McLean, Prof Stephen Huang, and Dr. Nhi Nguyen for their unbounded generosity, kindness, and dedication.

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