Palpable respect and pride

9 Jul 2015

Lib­by Bow­ell, Direc­tor of Edu­ca­tion for CRANAplus, says that the recent Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Straight Islander (ATSI) health work­er course in Cairns pret­ty much con­firms that my goal for the last few years is right – that ATSI health work­ers should be facil­i­tat­ing ATSI health work­er cours­es.” Here she explains why:

I have been doing this job for sev­er­al years now:

I believe I have a pret­ty good rela­tion­ship with health work­ers and feel very com­fort­able in ensur­ing my teach­ing meth­ods are appro­pri­ate and flex­i­ble for the audi­ence. But there is no deny­ing the change in the par­tic­i­pants’ con­nec­tion when a fel­low ATSI col­league gets up and presents a lec­ture or skill station.The ATSI health work­er course in Cairns, which was attached to the CRANAplus Con­fer­ence, was the per­fect plat­form to intro­duce our ATSI facil­i­ta­tors, Rachael Walk­er and Lenny Coop­er. Along­side myself and Sue Orsmond, Rachael and Lenny facil­i­tat­ed the REC course for sev­en Queens­land health work­ers. Rachael is an ATSIHP with eight years’ expe­ri­ence as a para­medic with St Johns Ambu­lance in the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry. Lenny is work­ing towards com­plet­ing his ATSI­HW train­ing and, at the time of this art­cile, was the CRANAplus Abo­rig­i­nal Liai­son Offi­cer, with an exten­sive back­ground in teach­ing pri­or to that. The group was small and inti­mate and no one had heard of CRANAplus pri­or to find­ing the fly­er or being told about the course by their employer.

Right from the start the group were keen to talk about their rea­sons for attend­ing the course… they want­ed more infor­ma­tion and con­fi­dence to assist in man­ag­ing emer­gency pre­sen­ta­tions. Both Sue and I sat in the room to sup­port Rachael and Lenny. Right from the out­set, they were engaged with the group. At the same time, we observed the reac­tions of the par­tic­i­pants: an imme­di­ate notice­able and pal­pa­ble respect and pride shown to the facil­i­ta­tors. Dur­ing a break, I asked one of par­tic­i­pants what was the dif­fer­ence between Sue and myself and then Rachael and Lenny?”… you mob are good but Lenny and Rachael can make us feel more com­fort­able because they are like us,” …anoth­er said it’s not so scary with them here.”

Although a lit­tle ner­vous at the begin­ning, both Sue and I observed the con­fi­dence of Rachael and Lenny grow­ing over the 3 days. Both Lenny and Rachael said the expe­ri­ence was pos­i­tive and it was very evi­dent they enjoyed their first course, had a sense of pride in what they were doing, and are both very keen to be part of the facil­i­ta­tor team. Rachael said that she is keen to assist with the fur­ther devel­op­ment of the course. Anoth­er poten­tial facil­i­ta­tor was iden­ti­fied from the course par­tic­i­pants and she has already expressed inter­est. Both Lenny and Rachael empha­sised that the course pro­vides an appro­pri­ate lev­el of train­ing for ATSI health work­ers and Lenny said the style in which we teach is the right way. Feed­back form course eval­u­a­tions indi­cates that we are pitch­ing this course at the right lev­el and the con­tent is trans­fer­able across bor­ders. All par­tic­i­pants told us that they would rec­om­mend this course for their col­leagues and thought it was a good idea to sched­ule anoth­er course in Cairns next year.

It would be good if this course con­tin­ues. This was a great course; slideshows were very help­ful to see pic­tures. Well done CRANAplus.”

I will def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend the REC course to oth­er AHW’s and also sug­gest our health work­ers all get a chance to attend and also update every cou­ple of years.”

I had a great time, learned a lot and met new friends. Will take a lot away from this course and would high­ly rec­om­mend it to oth­er health work­ers in my workplace.”

I believe this course has giv­en me the con­fi­dence and com­pe­ten­cy to per­form any pro­ce­dures or duties when assist­ing RN’s and doc­tors with­in the emer­gency depart­ment. It has tak­en away most of my fears and has pre­pared me and made me more deter­mined to aim high­er. The use of mnemon­ics is great and keeps you com­pe­tent when man­ag­ing an emer­gency wher­ev­er. Assess­ments were very good as it made me think prop­er­ly and use my com­mon sense.”

CRANAplus is excit­ed and proud to have embarked on this jour­ney with our new facil­i­ta­tors and is com­mit­ted to pro­vide the appro­pri­ate sup­port and train­ing to ensure that we con­tin­ue to grow our num­ber of facil­i­ta­tors. Our com­mit­ment to this goal will see the facil­i­ta­tors being sup­port­ed by our longterm REC facil­i­ta­tors to ensure we con­tin­ue to help build their knowl­edge and their con­fi­dence. We will con­tin­ue to lis­ten to feed­back and explore oth­er oppor­tu­ni­ties for health work­er education.

If you are a ATSIHP or know some­one who would make a good facil­i­ta­tor for these cours­es please con­tact me: flec@​crana.​org.​au

Foot­note: for the pur­pose of this sto­ry the par­tic­i­pants asked to be called health work­ers dur­ing the course, it is CRANAplus under­stand­ing that once ATSIHW’s com­plete their Cer­tifi­cate 4 they are eli­gi­ble to be ATSIH­Ps but this is still in dis­cus­sion in all states and territories.

ATSI REC Course Infor­ma­tion
ATSI MEC Course Information