Orientation and PISP Training for Health Extension Workers

By Sangeetha Lakshmanan – Research Analyst, ICTPH

The ICTPH Guide represents a critical role within the health systems team of the Rural Micro Health Centre (RMHC). Responsible for the health of approximately 200 households in her locality, the Guide is involved in Population based Individual Screening Protocol (PISP), follow-up, clinical assistance and intervention implementation. The Guides are locally selected based on a structured and standardized ICTPH EIGHT step selection process comprising of an application, written test and interview held at the community level by the ICTPH nurse and doctor.

This paper outlines the four phase (fifteen – day) training program, which was scheduled for the Guides within a week of their selection. The overall objective of the training was to equip the Guides with the knowledge and skills to perform their day-to-day role in their respective hamlets. Through the training, the Guides were introduced to the concept of health, social determinants of health and health services while tracing their role within the larger health system. In addition to this, the training introduced the Guides to the concept of screening, providing the Guides with appropriate understanding and hands-on practice to administer five non – invasive tools of PISP for screening members across their village. A ten-day apprenticeship training was incorporated as a link to the PISP training focusing on in-house, clinical and field practice of the PISP tools and age-specific Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) forms at a facility and community level. The training was completed with a session on equipping the Guide with skills to provide Basic Life Support so as to manage emergency health situations in their communities.

The training techniques incorporated principles of adult learning and adopted a problem solving approach to stimulate active participation from Guides to ensure that learning objectives of each phase were met, adding to the existing experiences and knowledge of the Guides. While capitalizing on their experience, the Guides were allowed to explore and learn various concepts through training methods such as role plays, story – telling, sharing of life experiences, songs, group work and role modeling. One-to-one tutorials, games, videos, pictures, demonstrations and practical sessions (using appropriate measurement tools, guides, charts and record sheets) were also used, seated on the floor in a circular manner to conform to rural settings and in the local language of Tamil.

Read the paper here.

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July 2024
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