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Mental Health Gap Training for Naitasiri Subdivision

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CC: Pacific Paramedical Training Centre

Published on: 28 Sep 2018

According to the World Health Organisation, mental health disorders are common in all regions of the world. Mental health issues affect every community and age group across countries of all different incomes.

In Fiji, health workers are using new and innovative ways to increase their knowledge about mental health issues. One example is the recent five day workshop held at the Vunidawa Hospital Conference Room, Naitasiri from 10 to 14 September, which was all about the mental health gap. This was facilitated by registered nurses Namrta Devi and Meleane Baledrokadroka, and 15 people took part. Participants included zone nurses, district nurses, clinic nurses, nursing manager and a dental officer.

Facilitator Namrta Devi is very enthusiastic about mental health. She says it is is an important topic  however it is usually ignored and not taken seriously. She advocates that mental health should always be given a high priority as there is no health without mental health.

he workshop included pre-test and post test evaluations of the participants. Teaching involved a slide-show, video demonstrations, brainstorming ideas on the whiteboard, recapping and discussing participants’ personal stories. Participants took part in role plays, group and individual presentations to carry out assessment. This focused on management and follow-up care of cases.

Evaluation of the workshop was done on the final day by participants. Evaluation of the venue, number of participants in the workshop, the length and quality of the training, how helpful the training was, how good the activities were and levels of increased confidence were all assessed. Participants were also asked to list the three most important things they learned during the training, what presentation and learning styles were most effective for them and why, and to suggest improvements.

There was positive feedback from participants from the evaluation sheets received mentioned in particular the facilitators Namrta Devi and Meleane Baledrokadroka. Overall, this training was a huge success, with participants stating they learned brand new and highly relevant information. Both the participants and facilitators expressed enthusiasm for undertaking more of these types of workshops in the future.

If you are interested in learning more about the mental health gap, you can take POLHN’s free online course on the topic, available here:

POLHN partners with James Cook University to Revise Nursing Standards

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CC: Pacific Paramedical Training Centre

Published on: 22 Sep, 2018

POLHN is proud to announce a new partnership with James Cook University, Australia (JCU). The WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing & Midwifery Education and Research Capacity Building at JCU Cairns will be teaming up with POLHN to review and draft the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) nursing standards.

The overall aim of this project is to improve the quality of nursing services in Pacific Island Countries. This will involve conducting deep research and to develop fit-for-purpose standards of practice for different levels of nursing professionals, guidelines for competence assessment and a framework for the registration of new graduates and return to practice of overseas graduates.

By working alongside the WHO Division of Pacific Technical Support (DPS), the efforts of these regulatory and ministerial bodies in country help to develop the relevant policies. This not only ensures that the professional workforce meets population needs and protects the public, but contributes to healthcare that is of a sustained high quality.

The importance of standards in nursing and midwifery

Following the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2011, the World Health Organisation (WHO) commissioned a Progress Report on Nursing and Midwifery (2013). This highlighted the importance of nursing and midwifery services in achieving the universal health coverage.

The document underlined key practical steps that are required to strengthen the nursing and midwifery services based on current best practices globally:

1) primary health care and people-centred care;

2) policy and practice development;

3) education and career development;

4) workforce management;

5) partnerships; and

6) monitoring and evaluation.

In the Pacific region, nurses represent the largest group of health care workers, making up over 50% of a country’s health workforce. The quality of healthcare delivery is directly dependent upon the adequate supply of appropriately qualified nursing and midwifery personnel. Crucial to this success is ensuring the availability of current, clearly defined standards of practice, guidelines for competence assessment and a framework for registration.

The potential benefits of this activity include:

  • Realignment of nursing education, competencies and skills to optimise workforce performance in a redesigned health care system;
  • Demonstration of evidence-based core competencies to deliver safe client care in response to changing healthcare needs and advancement in technology;
  • Controlling the registration eligibility of individuals who have undertaken and graduated with nursing from an institution within the country of practice;
  • Regulating the eligibility for registration of individuals who have undertaken and graduated in nursing from an institution outside thire country of practice;
  • Foundation of criteria for nurses who wish to return to practice after a period of absence; and
  • Establishment of the criteria for registration nurses awaiting disciplinary action or competency breach.
FSM_college of micronesia

FSM College of Micronesia

The Team

The JCU project team includes: Associate Professor Caryn West (Director), Professor Melanie Birks, Professor Cate Nagle, Associate Professor David Lindsay, Ms Andrea Grimes and Mr Christopher Rouen. Together they bring a wealth of experience in regulatory design and review and a long and successful track record working with Pacific Island partners and the WHO.

POLHN Technical Officer Mohammed Aruf Yasin and WHO country liaison officer for FSM, Palau and the Marshall Islands Dr Eunyoung Ko will be overseeing, monitoring and facilitating the roll-out of this activity. It will kick-off in September with the health partners meeting in FSM. The revised standards will reflect current, relevant, useful and contemporary nursing practices.

Student Satisfaction with POLHN Remains High

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CC: Pacific Paramedical Training Centre

Published on: 20 Sep 2018

Four out of five registered nurses at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) were satisfied with the courses provided by Pacific Open Learning Health Net (POLHN), according to the latest survey conducted by University of Strathclyde Master of Science student, Joy Juillard.

The CWMH nurses’ student experience survey (SES) of more than 300 registered nurses showed that majority of the nurses with less than 10 years post registration experience were satisfied with the continuing professional development (CPD) experience provided by POLHN. Same category of nurses responded that the e-learning courses provided them with reflective and interactive platform.

The survey measured five key areas of the student experience: knowledge and skills enhancement, interactive and engagement, course quality, personal and professional development, and course content and resources.

The students rated their overall POLHN experience at 90%. The result reflects the commitment of World Health Organisation and dedication and passion by the POLHN secretariat and technical team in providing access to free CPD to improve patient care.

In a separate interview, a registered nurse from Maternity Ward said, “The Infection, Prevention and Control course really changed my clinical practice. I struggled to apply IPC during my internship year. However after completing the POLHN course I was very confident and used the skills I learnt to provide better care to my patients.”

POLHN has beefed up its course quality and accessibility to become the platform that Pacific health workers are most satisfied with, according to the University of Technology report. Infection Prevention and Control, HIV-AIDS/TB, Diabetes Management Guidelines and Health Information System were the most popular topics.

Several nurses have also completed Salt Reduction, Guidelines for Antibiotics Use, Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes in Hospitals and Infant and Young Child Feeding

76% of nurses rated course content as important or very important to their current job. Over half of the total respondents expressed that the course contributed to their promotion and pay rise.

This provides powerful evidence of the vast impact of POLHN in Pacific. “We reviewed our approach and mantra to ensure that every health workers is appropriately equipped with knowledge to deliver quality patient care,” said POLHN Technical Officer, Mohammed Aruf Yasin.

“There are other more advanced platforms available to nurses like EDX, Cousera and Medscape, we are not competing with them, what POLHN delivers is unique to small economies and developing nations. POLHN is a successful example in demonstrating how developing countries can form network to overcome cluster based of health problems,” he continued.

The research provides a fundamental pathway and sets the stepping stone information. This could be the turning point for the nurses who were juggling extra hours to attend face to face CPD. The availability and accessibility of CPD via e-learning will ease the added burden.

POLHN student numbers continue to surge as the platform delivers some of the topnotch CPD topics to regional and international health workers.