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Technology in Global Health Education: Evaluation of a Distance Learning Program for Ghanaian Nurse Anesthetists


2015-06-01 02:46:02 - 2015-08-01 02:46:02

Project Objectives

In low-resource countries, it is often immediate necessity that drives the development of the healthcare workforce. Training varies from formal university- based programs to on the job apprenticeships as well as situations of self- teaching. This can result in an unstable supply of properly trained practitioners, and often creates opportunities for significant gaps in knowledge or skill preparation. In an attempt to standardize curriculum and ensure similar or higher standards of clinical competency, Ghana has placed a great deal of attention on moving healthcare educational programs to universities.

In September of 2014, collaborators from Duke and the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale, Ghana launched the first-ever Executive Style Distance-based training program for healthcare workers in Ghana. This project is supported by the Bass Connections Program, and the purpose is to assist UDS in the development and implementation of a degree-completion option for Ghanaian nurse anesthetists who wish to or must remain in their communities and continue to provide anesthesia care. The program will utilize an innovative approach borrowing from the blended method of distance learning known as the "Cexecutive-style program." The program will rely heavily on a technology-based educational platform utilizing a tablet and mobile applications to organize and deliver course content. Additionally, twice a trimester, nurse trainees will attend executive sessions on the campus of UDS and engage in active learning activities designed to reinforce and build upon curriculum taught at a distance. The development and delivery of the entire program will involve a team-based model of mentoring, participating, and evaluating. The team involves students, educators, clinicians, and researchers from Duke and UDS.

Project Opportunities

Project Activities: The SRT students will be engaged with the on-going Bass team work plan but will focus their activities on field based projects. Specific research and service activities will be determined in collaboration with the BASS team and local Ghanaian partners. Project goals and opportunities can include:

1. Learning qualitative and quantitative data collection methods.
2. Helping to pilot measures and conduct surveys with Ghanaian nurse anesthetists and communities to evaluate the effectiveness and challenges of distance-based education.
3. Providing insight and recommendations around how to best develop technology-based learning for resource constrained environments
4. Learning about health care infrastructure in Ghana. Immersion in local culture and interaction with health care trainees and professionals to better understand community health issues
5. Shadowing health care workers at different hospital sites and gaining insight into the challenges health professionals face in both rural and urban hospital settings.
6. Creation of appropriate service projects in collaboration with the Bass and Ghanaian teams, such as: educational materials for clients at various hospital sites, community seminars on health topics of local importance, photo-journalism, documentation, and story creation of project process.

Project Application Process

Students must fill out and submit a project application, CV and recent transcript to Ms. Lysa MacKeen by November 3, 2014. Students may apply to no more than two project opportunities and a separate application must be completed for each SRT project option. The scheduled interviews for this project location will take place during the week of November 17, 2014. Any questions regarding the application, interview dates or general project information should be directed to Lysa MacKeen.

Please note that it is recommended that students interested in this site also apply to a second site.

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