PURPOSE: The FIRST course is designed to enable clinical (health) officers and midwives prepare appropriate priority management plans for their patients and obtain fundamental skills in first-line, basic surgical and obstetric care. The objective of the Instructor’s Course is to provide the teaching skills necessary to participate as an instructor in Africa alongside an experienced instructor. This includes teaching either the FIRST course for clinical officers or the FIRST Course for Nurse Midwives. This instructor’s course will also benefit CNIS, as it will provide an opportunity for participants to share expertise and improve the course.
THE SKILLS: Clinical Officers will learn scrubbing, gloving and draping techniques, knot-tying, small procedures, field block, suturing lacerations, basic life support, casting, splinting, and skin traction, inserting tubes, operative vaginal skills such as vacuum extraction, normal and breech delivery, retained placenta, repair of cervical laceration, perineal tear and episiotomy. The midwifery students take a 2-day course that does not include orthopedic and tube insertion and will learn how to screen newborns for neonatal abnormalities. All students will learn how to assess patients to determine who might need priority referral and how to prepare patients for safe transfer.
METHODOLOGY: FIRST is a standardized course and must be taught in a consistent manner. It is crucial that all instructors understand the philosophy, methodology and goals of the course. The Instructors Course, through lectures, interactive sessions and hands on practice, covers these topics:
• The use of simulation in surgical skills education.
• Hands-on experience with simulators and manikins.
• Practice teaching of quizzes, case-based learning and technical skills.
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