Syringe Driver Competency

From 1 September 2021, an online version of the Hospice New Zealand Syringe Driver competency programme, previously developed by Hospice Waikato, was made available to a wider range of locations, via the hospices listed below.

This blended learning approach consists of 2 hours online training, followed by a 1.5 hour practical competency workshop.

Online learning is available to people whose local hospice service is listed below:

  • Cranford Hospice – Hawkes Bay
  • Dove Hospice – Eastern Bays, Auckland
  • Harbour Hospice – North Shore including Orewa and Warkworth, Auckland
  • Hospice Eastern Bay of Plenty
  • Hospice Kaipara
  • Hospice Marlborough
  • Hospice Mid-Northland – Kerikeri
  • Hospice Southland
  • Hospice South Canterbury
  • Hospice Tairawhiti – Gisborne
  • Hospice Waikato
  • Hospice West Auckland
  • Hospice Whanganui
  • Lake Taupo Hospice
  • Mary Potter Hospice – Wellington & Kapiti
  • Mercy Hospice – Central Auckland
  • North Haven Hospice – Whangarei
  • Nurse Maude Hospice – Christchurch
  • Otago Community Hospice
  • Rotorua Community Hospice
  • Te Omanga Hospice – Lower Hutt
  • Totara Hospice – South Auckland
  • Waipuna Hospice – Tauranga

If your local Hospice is listed above, you can now register for the online Syringe Driver Competency Programme here.

If your local Hospice is not listed above, please contact them directly for information on syringe driver training available in your area.  If you are unsure of your local hospice – please use our map to locate your local service.

The outline of the programme is as follows – for both online and in person learning.

Programme aim

To assist Registered Nurses to obtain the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills they require to manage syringe drivers in their place of practice and for enrolled nurses to be competent in checking.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this syringe driver competency package and workshop participants will be able to:

  • State the rationale for use of a syringe driver in palliative care
  • Educate the patient and family about the use of a syringe driver
  • Explain management and safety principles when caring for patients with these devices
  • Calculate conversions from oral opioids to subcutaneous opioids
  • Identify medications commonly used in syringe drivers in palliative care and the rationale for their use
  • Identify medications that should not be given subcutaneously
  • Identify the equipment required to set up a syringe driver
  • Identify suitable insertion sites for subcutaneous infusions
  • Explain which sites are inappropriate for subcutaneous infusion
  • Set up an infusion using the Niki T34 syringe driver
  • State the observations that need to be made while the syringe driver is in use and their frequency
  • Identify alerts and alarms and state corrective action to be taken
  • Demonstrate the safe use of a syringe driver and show how to stop an infusion

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