Maritime personnel is a key determinant for the development of the online training platform that will be created in the context of SeaHealth project, for dealing with medical incidents onboard.
For this purpose, a team of research doctors from the 1st Academic ENT Clinic of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UOA), member of the project’s consortium, carried out a survey, as part of the first unit of the project, to record the demands of platform’s potential users with the participation of crew members of shipping companies from the network of contacts of SQLearn and DANAOS companies.
The recording of the demands and expectations of the platform’s potential users was achieved by completing a template questionnaire and through meetings – discussions in focus groups.
In the focus groups meetings, seafarers highlighted their daily management of health issues and expressed their concerns about the existence of such incidents onboard as well as about the formal procedure that is needed to be followed to deal with them.
Key points of this process include the reference of the basic knowledge that the responsible officers for medical care have that mainly comes from their academic education as well as the lawful procedure which needs to be followed onboard in case of medical incidents, which is in accordance with a hierarchical process.
Overall, the results of the survey showed that although most participants had received medical training in the past, they were interested in renewing and upgrading their skills in this field.
In general, the expectations and demands of participants as e-learning users included the creation of a dynamic and flexible platform that would incorporate the presentation of medical issues and scenarios, which constitute common in terms of frequency on board, in a simple, comprehensible, pleasant and interactive way.
According to the participants of the survey, the three main issues that concern them as they emerged from the questionnaires are:
• Accidents at work,
• Fatigue management
• Sleep’s quality improvement
Regarding the skills, training, and knowledge considered important in managing medical incidents onboard, the participants stated as important:
• First Aid knowledge
• Wound treatment knowledge
• Fracture management knowledge
• Education on general hygiene rules
• Education on the prevention of drug abuse and addiction to chemicals, alcohol and smoke
• Education on the prevention and treatment of work-related accidents
Briefly, the participants acknowledged that information on medical matters is particularly important. As for the training method of their preference, the majority of participating seafarers were positive that an online learning system could help them manage health issues onboard.
The research project “E-Learning platform for Seafarers for first aid and health issues” -SeaHealth, is part of the Operational Program “Competitiveness Entrepreneurship and Innovation” of “RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATION” and is implemented by SQLearn and DANAOS companies in partnership with the 1st Academic ENT Clinic of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UOA).