How to Train Health Workers for Primary Care in a Developing Health Service
- 1). Identify the health workers to be trained. In some cases they will be trainees with some primary health care experience; at other times they may be local people with very little primary health care knowledge who act as go-betweens or translators for patients and doctors.
- 2). Determine how much the health workers know about primary health care. If you start with assumptions about prior knowledge, your health care workers may end up feeling frustrated and inadequate. The time spent establishing a baseline will give you an indication of how to proceed.
- 3). Identify the training methodology that will work best with the health workers. If they are illiterate---and this can happen in America as well as overseas---you will have to present all material orally and then test the same way.
- 4). Focus on activities that encourage discussion among the health care workers. Providing primary health care in a developing health service is going to require the health workers to talk to people, so good communication skills have to be high on the training list.
- 5). Adapt the curriculum to meet the primary health care needs of the health workers. Materials produced at a training hospital or university may not work in a developing health service where supplies are limited and health workers are receiving initial training.
- 6). Build a frequent evaluation component into the primary health training. In a developing health situation, you may well find that breaking concepts down into bite-sized bits works best with health workers. Use the teach-test-review approach to reinforce the concepts.
- 7). Evaluate the training. Have the health workers give you detailed feedback of what worked and what needs to be improved for the next primary health care training session.