Western Carolina University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 76-83
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Anesthesia is an essential component of secondary healthcare and when anesthesia services are inadequate, difficulties are experienced in a number of specialties. There are no set standards for nurse anesthesia education in developing countries, yet one of the keys to the standards in global professional practice is competency assurance for individuals (Lenn, 1997). Nurse anesthetists in developing countries have difficulty obtaining educational materials. Reasons for difficulty in obtaining continuing education include financial constraints, lack of anesthesia texts, and distance from educational sites.
The effectiveness of the strategies to create knowledge translation in developing countries is highly variable and dependent on the setting, and success hinges on whether the strategies have been tailored (Santesso & Tugwell, 2006). Dobson (2007) points out that we speak politely of the “developing countries” but in many cases there has been little evidence of development in the last generation. There is increasing evidence that the application of knowledge in developing countries is failing. One reason is that many anesthetists in developing countries are trained for considerably less than acceptable time periods and are often supervised by poorly trained practitioners passing on bad practice, thus exacerbating difficulties (Walker, Wilson, & Bogod, 2007). Sustainability of development can only come through anesthetists who are both well-trained and able to pass on their training to others (Dobson). One of the keys to the standards in global professional practice is competency assurance for individuals (Lenn, 1997).
Many anesthetists in small hospitals of developing countries have poor access to educational materials. Their workload is usually unrelenting with no outside help to replace practitioners during educational leave. Books and journals may not be readily available, and much of the material written by or for practitioners in developed countries may not be very useful to those in developing countries (Steward, 1998).
The international nurse anesthesia education project was developed in response to the difficulty nurse anesthetists in developing countries face in accessing continuing education. The purpose of this project was to develop a model for providing nurse anesthesia continuing education (CE) that can be reproduced and used in any developing country. In this model, course content is determined and individualized by a country’s specific nurse anesthesia educational need. Meeting the continuing education needs of a requesting country’s nurse anesthetists is accomplished by first ascertaining the desired continuing education needs of a given country’s nurse anesthetists. The continuing education needs are derived through the use of an online needs survey delivered by Survey Monkey. Based on the CE needs survey, the project director develops the requested CE modules. Volunteer nurse anesthetists, in conjunction with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO), deliver a face-to face presentation of the requested CE topics. Each participant receives a pretest, posttest, and six-month posttest to ascertain increase and retention of knowledge. The CE modules are stored on the Health Volunteer Overseas website.
The program was originally piloted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and evaluation was performed using an online survey tool. The program has since been implemented in Saigon, Vietnam.
Continuing Education, Developing Countries, Nurse Anesthesia.