Training and using mid-level eye care workers: early lessons from Timor-Leste

Type Journal Article - Clinical & experimental ophthalmology
Title Training and using mid-level eye care workers: early lessons from Timor-Leste
Volume 38
Issue 8
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 805-811
Background: A 12-month Diploma of Eye Care course
for mid-level eye care workers was initiated in 2007
as part of Timor-Leste’s National Eye Health Strategy.
This paper reports the development and implementation
of this course, examines its initial results and
makes suggestions for improvements to the training
and deployment of these workers.
Methods: Course curriculum development and delivery,
trainee selection and candidate assessment were
examined. Graduate clinical knowledge retention
at 6 months after course completion was investigated
using clinical vignettes to determine diagnosis,
management and patient counselling knowledge
for common primary eye health conditions. Graduate
workplace environments and activities were
Results: Development of the course curriculum and
its delivery were in response to local circumstance,
and according to education best practice teaching
and learning strategies. Four rural nurses successfully
completed the inaugural course. Although all
remained in rural eye care services at 6 months after
graduation, there was considerable variation in
activity. Substantial depletion of clinical competency
was revealed across the cohort.
Conclusions: Adherence to current best practice in
the design and delivery of the curriculum and course
was insufficient to ensure productive graduates of
ongoing clinical competency, positioned to make an
impact on eye health. Attention needs to be directed
to postgraduation integration into the workplace,
and continuing support once there. The efficacy of
this mid-level cadre and its impact on eye health
requires further evaluation.

Related studies