What We Do

The programmes we deliver are usually one week long and are delivered in a central venue, usually the capital city, recommended by the Ministry of Health. Each country can elect to modify the programme, as required and a flexible attitude is maintained whilst we are in the country to meet the delegates needs. We provide an evidence based update for perioperative nurses, using adult learning principles.

Initially, the knowledge based workshop is where we start and can be followed at a suitable time difference ( often one year) before we return to deliver the second programme, the work based practice audit. this may be followed by the Leadership programme - all in agreeement with the Chief Nurse, Ministry officials or other partner in Africa.  

Knowledge Based Update Workshop

This is usually the first programme delivered by FoAN to nurses.

Key topics include:- Patient safety, risk management, perioperative safe practice, patient care, infection prevention 

Travel to and accommodation in the capital city is funded for up to a maximum of 50 delegates by the local funding partner, whilst FoAN funds travel and accommodation for the trainers.

The first morning is spent visiting local hospitals in the host city to get an overview of the working conditions and practice in the operating departments. This is followed by a formal opening ceremony usually attended by dignitaries from the official bodies and all the delegates and has been filmed and recorded for national TV, radio and press.

A programme of didactic lectures, seminars and workshop- based learning takes place over the following days. This is often the first formal operating theatre education that many have experienced and the first opportunity to network with colleagues from around the country when best local practice is shared and developed. Some delegates may have received a formal perioperative education programme in their country but little on-going education. The week enables practical discussion of how international best practice and knowledge may be introduced, albeit often modified to fit the resources available in the country.
Best practice principles are taught using up to date UK and international standards to provide a sound basis for changes to clinical practice.

Delegates evaluate their learning through feedback sessions and formal evaluation. This has shown that all students have benefited substantially from the experience.
The final formal session is a closing ceremony with awards of certificates of attendance and gifts of a practical nature to take back to their departments. These range from eye protection to surgical instruments, nursing scissors and material to aid decontamination of equipment.

A report on the delegates' feedback and facilitators findings and recommendations is then sent to the Ministry, and Chief Nurse.

Second Visit

Benchmarking & Problem Based Learning Programme

Having been introduced as a concept and with partnership funding from the official bodies, the second visit uses a three-centre approach. The capital and two major cities or districts are used as bases for benchmarking exercises and further tutorials and workshops. Delegates from the previous courses are invited through the Ministry and their local hospital administration to attend a follow-up education session. Being in three centres, travel and accommodation are less arduous as delegates attend the sessions in their geographically closest centre.

One facilitator undertakes a benchmarking exercise in the operating theatres using a specifically developed audit tool whilst the other facilitator reviews with the delegates the change management that has been undertaken since the first visit and any problems that have been encountered. Based on the outcome of the audit and the discussions with delegates, the rest of the visit is spent in a problem based learning exercise to resolve issues raised by both.

This process is used in all three centres, with a feedback report being sent to the Chief Nursing Officer in the Ministry and local hospital authorities.

Third Visit

Leadership Development Programme

Over the previous two visits, potential leaders emerge naturally and this visit is aimed at development of the leadership within perioperative nursing speciality through partnership with the relevant officials. 

 A small group (up to 20) of those potential leaders is taken through a week of learning new skills based on workshop learning of key management and leadership principles.

Identification of learning needs is able to be tailored to the groups needs, by discussion and negotiation. Master classes and individual mentorship is central to the learning and development of each individual.

Fourth Visit

Train The Trainers Programme

Sustainability of the education already delivered, as well as the nurses’ knowledge base for disseminating the information gained, is important to FoAN. Delegates are taught the skills necessary to make presentations, plan lessons and to choose topics to pass on to their colleagues. Each one undertakes a presentation to the class to demonstrate what they have learned.

Perioperative Nurse Education Programmes

The programmes are designed to provide an evidenced based update for perioperative nurses, using adult learning principles and delivered in the country, followed by an evaluative visit and a leadership development course as well a means of ensuring sustainability by Training the Trainers.

We have also run programmes for Ward Leaders, as requested locally.

Bespoke programmes

Friends of African Nursing is happy to devise new programmes to suit the needs of the nurses in the country and will find facilitators who have the appropriate skill base to deliver the programmes requested.

With sufficient planning we have also delivered bespoke programmes, as requested by the Ministry for anaesthetic and recovery care as well as programmes focussed on infection prevention. 

Standard programmes

A four visit programme for countries requesting our assistance has proved to be a successful model. Ministry of Health officials and Chief Nursing Officers are key partners in cost sharing and provision of a tailor made programme to meet the country's needs thus creating for the country a sustainable partnership and capacity improvement within the theatre nursing population.

Preparing for the future

This programme is an amalgamation of the key elements of the Leadership programme and the Train the Trainers programme. It is very intensive education for the participants and is available to those countries who ask for it.

Patient Safety - managing the risks

A two day programme highlighting different aspects of patient safety, including internationally developed solutions, root cause analysis and risk management has been developed with Cornfields. It was delivered in Ghana in 2013 and in 2018 and evaluated very well. 

Anaesthetic and Recovery Workshop

The workshop addresses safe anaesthetic and recovery nursing practice as well as enabling delegates to recognise and take action on the deteriorating patient. Additional sessions on the WHO safe Surgery Checklist as well as a number of key professional issues are delivered during the week of education.

This has been requested by the Ministry in Lesotho and has been run twice there and evaluated successfully.

Other bespoke programme development

We have delivered other programmes according to the needs of the country. Please just ask!

FoAN - Training Nurses Across Africa Since 2001

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