Malawi November 2007

Train the Trainers Programme

Kate Woodhead and Jackie Younger travelled to Lilongwe in Malawi in November 2007 to facilitate this programme.

The venue was the Madidi Hotel, Restaurant and Conference Centre which provided very good accommodation and meals for the trainees and a well appointed conference room for the training programme.

The programme was attended by 17 nurses but two of them could only attend afternoon sessions due to other commitments. There were 3 males and 14 females, several had attended previous FoAN development courses and they travelled from various hospitals across Malawi; some journeys taking nine hours which was longer than our flight from London to Africa!

This programme - funded by the Scottish Office as part of their commitment to supporting FoAN programmes in Malawi was the fourth and last in a series of developments.

The aim was to train the nurses to be trainers within perioperative care so that they can pass on their knowledge and standards to others. This will hopefully ensure that the knowledge imparted during FoAN courses is shared with others, providing sustainability.

Following an entertaining icebreaker, sessions included:
· How do people learn, what influences learning and what ensures good communication skills?
· What makes a good teacher? Teaching methods and strategies
· Preparing to teach - lesson plans and preparation
· Getting feedback and assessing whether learning has taken place
· Using reflection
· Micro teaching exercises carried out by each student
· Future planning - what will you teach others when you get back to base?
· Evaluation of the course
The programme was spread over three days with homework each evening to prepare for the next day and reflection on the previous day each morning. Both the Chief Nurse, Sheila Bandazi and the Education Nursing Officer Felicitas Kanthiti from the Ministry attended parts of the programme. Time was also allocated for the students to discuss the future of their Perioperative Nurses Association of Malawi ( Ponam).
Seventeen evaluation forms were received:
When asked to score, on a scale of one to ten, how much the programme had added to their knowledge, thirteen students scored 10, three scored 9 and one scored 8

Example comments about what they will do differently as a result of the course included:

· Planning what to teach students so that teaching is logical
· Student teaching will be evaluated by questioning or a quiz
· Supervision of fellow staff and support staff
· Teaching colleagues about different types of procedures
· Feedback to the College of Nursing about students
· Having the ability to stand in front of other people and teaching them without fear
· Setting objectives
· Sharing what has been learned
In the future there is a strong desire to have a Degree or Masters programme specifically in Theatre Nursing. The Ministry are aware of this and FoAN would be willing to support the development of a curriculum if appropriate.

Bwaila Hospital Visit
Formally known as Bottom Hospital in Lilongwe, this is Malawi's main maternity hospital for difficult and emergency births with over 10,000 deliveries per year.

Jessie Banda, a student on the course, and Senior Nurse for theatres, kindly organised a visit for Kate and Jackie. Jessie had attended previous FoAN courses and her learning was evident – hand made posters were placed on the wall in the single operating theatre reminding staff of the scrubbing and gloving techniques as well as other procedures.

However, despite having a new operating table - provided by Government funding - instruments for the Caesarean section sets are limited, single use items are reused, sutures are limited, swabs are washed and reused and many items of furniture are in need of replacement. Our hope is that we can continue to send supplies to hospitals all over Africa and continue to provide support.

FoAN - Training Nurses Across Africa Since 2001

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