Community Engagement in Timor Leste building capacity in nursing and midwifery education
An exciting and impactful partnership is developing between the Faculty of Health Sciences, St John of God Outreach Timor Leste (SJOGTL), and the National University of Timor Leste (Universidade Nacional de Timor Lorosae (UNTL)) in Dili. For the past 2 years, the Deputy Dean Professor Karen Flowers has been working closely with the SJoGTL team based at the Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares (HNGV) and UNTL, to establish relationships and engage in a capability building project. The aim of the project is to enhance the quality of undergraduate nursing and midwifery education through building capability of academics in the School of Nursing and Midwifery in the Faculty of Medicine at UNTL.
In 2016, Professor Flowers was invited to evaluate the Nursing curriculum at UNTL in preparation for their course review. Subsequently, she was invited to conduct a professional development workshop at UNTL on course review and consult with individual nursing and midwifery academics in relation to redevelopment of individual units of study. Over the week long consultation, 18 participants were engaged in a workshop and activities that enabled them to discuss, explore, analyse and apply fundamental concepts of curriculum including constructive alignment, developing learning outcomes, and planning teaching strategies and assessment tasks. The workshop was supported by Australian nurses and Timorese language and cultural advisors from SJoGTL. One of the outcomes of this initial engagement was a request from the academics for further professional development in teaching clinical skills.
In response to this request, Dr Stephen Guinea (FHS Coordinator of Health Simulation) joined Professor Flowers to lead a three-day workshop on teaching clinical skills at the SJoGTL training facilities at HGNV in January this year. The same 18 nursing and midwifery academics from UNTL engaged enthusiastically in group and role playing activities to develop and practice teaching and learning of clinical skills. Initial impact of this workshop was extremely encouraging, with the UNTL academics requesting further training in clinical teaching of specific clinical skills. Participant’s found the most useful aspects of the program were:
Using a four-step approach (Peynton, 1998) to structuring classes for teaching clinical skills
Developing lesson plans for teaching clinical skills
Experiencing first-hand, the structure, time management, and ability to focus student practice time offered by employing lesson plans
Planning for the assessment of clinical skills using case studies and check lists.
To conclude the three-day program, certificates of attendance were presented to each participant, in a brief ceremony attended by UNTL's Dean, Faculty of Medicine. In addition, sphygmomanometers and stethoscopes were used in the workshop and clinical skills text books (provided by the ACU School of Nursing Midwifery and Paramedicine) were donated to UNTL for the teaching of essential physical assessment skills.
The success of these programs would not have been possible without the relationships between Australian and Timorese organisations and individuals, the expertise of the local Timorese language and cultural advisors, and the support of the nursing and midwifery educators from SJoGTL.
Front Row: Barry Ramsay (Country Manager SJoGTL), Steve Guinea, Karen Flowers, Professor Jaoas Martins (Dean, Faculty of Medicine UNTL), Snr Joaquim Pinto (Vice Director of Nursing, UNTL), Benjamin Dingle, (Nursing Development Project Manager SJoGTL) Second row: some of the workshop participants Back row: Melanie McVean with midwifery specialist
Nursing lecturer facilitating a session on teaching the skill of blood pressure measurement