My First Encounter with Clinical Holding Training

February 2, 2023
Huw Lloyd
Younger hand holding an older person hand

As a Global Professional Instructor (GPI) it is our job to provide the highest quality training to our delegates as possible, whatever course they are attending.

One way we do that, which also means we can meet the Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards, is to meet as a training group once a year to share good practice and ensure consistency of delivery for all our GPIs.

Our 2023 update week was, as ever, a great experience as we covered our Safety Intervention Foundation course, through to the Advanced and Emergency programmes and our Clinical Holding training.

Before this week I had never witnessed our Clinical Holding programme, it had always been done separately with only those trainers who delivered it. However, in a really good move, this year we all experienced all the courses.

Medical staff focused

Clinical Holding is designed for medical staff who may need to administer medication or treatments to patients who may be distressed, confused and reluctant to receive the treatment.

One example given to us was about a dentist who had a patient who would involuntarily punch them in the face whenever they got near them.

The Clinical Holding programme looks to give nursing and care professionals the skills to handle circumstances such as this more effectively and it was something I’d never really considered before.

As I watched my colleagues demonstrate the different holds of the programme, a sense of déjà vu came over me. I had seen these holds before; but I couldn’t have.

Then it hit me, and as it did so, a wave of sadness.

Just over a year ago my mum passed away; a combination of pancreatic cancer, an infection in her liver and then finally a stroke which ultimately caused the end of her life.

The stroke resulted in her becoming disorientated, confused and frustrated in not being able to communicate and often in a great deal of pain.

Necessary holding

I remember on two occasions the amazing staff who treated her and had to hold her. They had used the holds I was watching now so they could administer her medicine and pain relief. 

The thought that people had to hold my mum because of this upset me. The thought it my have hurt her or caused her more pain or discomfort or agitation got to me. Trauma comes in shapes and sizes and it would appear for me, that this specific trauma was something I was unaware of.

I returned to the training room and I was glad I did, as tough as it was for me, it helped.

I had the holds demonstrated to me by my colleagues and I experienced and understood how it would have felt for my mum.

As my colleagues held me I felt safe and secure, my dignity was considered at all times and at no point did I experience anything which could have caused me pain.

Safety & Security

As much as the sadness was still there as I looked back at that period of my life, having to watch my mum slip away, I had a new feeling wash over me as well, one of contentment. Contentment in the knowledge and understanding that in the times when my mum was disorientated, frustrated and angry, none of that was contributed to by the holds that were used to help her.

I can assure anyone who experiences any of the holds in our Clinical Holding programme, either as an observer or patient, that they give you a sense of safety, security and reassurance and that the professional delivering them will have been highly trained.

Finally to my colleagues, thank you, it may not have seemed like a huge deal to any of you, but the demonstrations you gave helped me not just to acquire skills, but also to acquire a peace of mind I didn’t know I needed to find.

If you'd like to know more about our Clinical Holding training or schedule a consultation, see our programme page. For more CPI staff experiences of this programme see this blog from our Director of Training Chris Sheehan.

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