Lessons from the field in Vietnam
Our Newborn Care and Emergency Cardiac Care programs that took place in Vietnam this Spring were a success on many levels. With participants from three continents, the ToT (Training of Trainers) teaching method has now equipped nurses and professionals from across the globe to teach and spread the lessons learned in these courses. Participants gained valuable skills that are often scarce or nonexistent in many regions with minimal resources. Like with many of our programs, we focus on sustainable, high impact capacity development in order to bring much needed training to the populations in greatest need of these services. In total, 37 midwives, 70 nurses and 50 doctors were trained over the duration of 4 weeks!
The master trainer for our Newborn Care programs is Patty Kelly, a Registered Nurse from Colorado with 26 years of experience in hospitals. She is now retired and dedicates her life to teaching Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) and the other modules of the Helping Babies Survive training series in more than a dozen countries. The Spring trainings in Vietnam were the fourth time that Patty has led delegations for GEI. Here she reflects upon her motivation to continue teaching and spreading HBB:
“Participants in Vietnam are healthcare providers who typically work in low-resource settings. While some have benefited from other parallel curricula, they have not always been appropriate for their environment. The distinction is that HBB works in settings where the provider doesn’t have sophisticated equipment to address the needs, where the baby will die without the skill. HBB requires only a suction device, an ambu bag and a mask with the appropriate size. We notice again and again that course participants in countries like Vietnam not only become intrigued with the skills, but also interested in teaching them to their colleagues. The second half of the course is hence geared to learning how to teach others, the Training of Trainers model.
I have, on many occasions working in Labor and Delivery, resuscitated babies using HBB. I have had the extraordinary experience on several occasions to witness a baby saved by a student who just finished the course that day or the day before. These are the moments that sustain me through the travel, the long flights, the long days, knowing this is the right path.”
To find more information about upcoming programs where you can learn how to teach HBB and other high impact curricula, please visit our website at www.global-engagement.org/volunteer/health.