A case study on building capacity to improve clinical mentoring and maternal child health in rural Tanzania: The path to implementation

Melissa T. Ojemeni, Paulomi Niles, Salum Mfaume, Ntuli A. Kapologwe, Linda Deng, Renae Stafford, Marie Jose Voeten, Kokusiima Theonestina, Wendy Budin, Nok Chhun, Allison Squires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Tanzania is a low income, East African country with a severe shortage of human resources for health or health workers. This shortage threatens any gains the country is making in improving maternal health outcomes. This paper describes a partnership between Touch Foundation and NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing - Global, aimed at improving clinical mentorship and capacity among nurses and midwives at two rural hospitals in the Tanzanian Lake Zone Region. Clinical mentoring capacity building and supportive supervision of staff has been shown to be a facilitator of retaining nurses and would be possible to acquire and implement quickly, even in a context of low resources and limited technology. Methods: A case study approach structures this program implementation analysis. The NYU Meyers team conducted a 6-day needs assessment at the two selected hospitals. A SWOT analysis was performed to identify needs and potential areas for improvement. After the assessment, a weeklong training, tailored to each hospitals' specific needs, was designed and facilitated by two NYU Meyers nursing and midwifery education specialists. The program was created to build on the clinical skills of expert nurse and midwife clinicians and suggested strategies for incorporating mentoring and preceptorship as a means to enhance clinical safety and promote professional communication, problem solving and crisis management. Results: Nineteen participants from both hospitals attended the training. Fourteen of 19 participants completed a post training, open ended questionnaire for a 74% response rate. Fifty-seven percent of participants were able to demonstrate and provide examples of the concepts of mentorship and supervision 4 and 11 months' post training. Participants indicated that while confidence in skills was not lacking, barriers to quality care lay mostly in understaffing. Implementation also offered multiple insights into contextual factors affecting sustainable program implementation. Conclusions: Three recommendations from this training include: 1) A pre-program assessment should be conducted to ascertain contextual relevance to curriculum development; 2) flexibility and creativity in teaching methods are essential to engage students; and 3) access to participants a priori to program implementation may facilitate a more tailored approach and lead to greater participant engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number57
JournalBMC Nursing
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 26 2017

Keywords

  • Clinical mentorship
  • HRH
  • Nursing education & workforce, Tanzania
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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