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No. 4, 2008

Updates from the TB Education and Training Network

Member Highlight

In this issue we highlight the two new co-chairs for the Membership Development Workgroup, Millie Blackstone and Carolyn Bargman.

Photo of Millie BlackstoneMillie Blackstone, MPH, RN, is a TB Nurse Coordinator with the Arizona Department of Health Services.  Millie’s job responsibilities include helping local TB programs ensure that patients with known or suspected TB are given quality care. She provides TB education to public as well as private-practice health care workers, including physicians, nurses, and other health care staff. She assists state and local TB programs with issues related to TB patient management, infection control, contact investigations, and TB testing and screening.  She also provides consultation to health care providers in correctional facilities, long-term care facilities, hospitals, and private clinics, and she conducts site visits to evaluate local TB control programs.

Millie first learned about TB ETN from her manager, and decided to join to learn new skills for educating health care workers. By joining the Membership Development Workgroup, Millie wants to ensure that new members have the resources and tools they need to educate other health care workers about TB.  She also hopes to provide training at the TB ETN conference for new members who may not have prior TB knowledge and experience.

Millie believes that when educating others, one has to be cognizant of the variety of teaching methods. “Some people do not like working in groups, some do not like games, so you must know your audience; otherwise the audience will shut you out and not learn anything,” Millie explained. 

She has participated in several interesting training projects over the years. In a recent project, Millie helped develop the TB Nurse Case Manager Training in collaboration with the Heartland National TB Center. She was a planning committee member for the Four Corners TB/HIV Conference, held in Flagstaff, Arizona, in October 2008. In addition, she worked on the current Arizona TB program manual . In a previous position that Millie held in California, she participated in an emergency preparedness exercise at NBC Studios in Burbank, CA. The fire department was also involved in this half-day exercise. As part of the exercise, participants acted as first responders and set up a triage for the injured. She also developed and taught a course on Women’s Health Issues at California State University in Northridge.

Millie’s interests include house remodeling and furniture collecting.

Carolyn Bargman, MA, RN, is a TB Clinic Nurse and Educator with the Denver Metro TB Clinic and Boulder County Public Health Department.  Her job responsibilities include managing cases of patients with latent TB infection (LTBI) and active TB disease and conducting contact investigations for Boulder County.  She also sees patients for TB testing and clinical evaluation at the Denver Metro TB Clinic.  In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Carolyn creates, reviews, and revises TB-related patient education materials, chart forms, protocols, and procedure manuals. She provides TB education to community health care providers, community groups, lay health promoters, and patients.

Carolyn first heard about TB ETN through the CDC website.  She joined TB ETN because she thought it would be a good way to “learn from the experts” who have been conducting TB education and training courses much longer than she has.  She also thought TB ETN members would be a good source of ideas and materials that she could adapt for use in her clinic and community.

By joining the Membership Development Workgroup, Carolyn is able to meet with other nurses working in TB.  The workgroup is networking and learning about projects and programs done by others in the field, and it’s a way to meet other nurses for collaboration on future projects.

In the next few years, she hopes that TB ETN will focus more on training issues related to immigrant populations. Carolyn thinks there is a lot to learn about our own immigrant populations from nurses working in other countries, many who are TB ETN members. She would love to see collaborative projects between U.S.-based nurses and nurses in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

One recent educational activity that Carolyn was involved with was a TB update and review of the new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) TB screening guidelines for civil surgeons. The training was held by the Denver Metro TB Clinic in conjunction with the Francis J. Curry National TB Center.  In addition, she developed a web-based TB update and skin test training for health care providers in the Denver Health and Hospital system, which includes a hospital, 21 community health clinics, and the public health department. Carolyn also helped develop protocols and training for nurses in the 21 Denver Health neighborhood health centers and school-based health clinics to provide treatment for latent TB infection (LTBI) to their clinic patients. She explained that the Denver Metro TB Clinic does not have the capacity to test and treat all LTBI patients in the Denver Metro area. Therefore, in providing additional training to the nurses at Denver Health, they were able to increase the number of patients who are being tested and treated for LTBI. She mentioned that the clinic nurses also enjoy these visits, as it gives them a chance to connect with their patients over a long period of time and in a way that they do not normally have the opportunity to do. Additionally, Carolyn has been heavily involved in the revision of the Denver Metro TB Clinic’s protocol manual, which was last updated in 1990.

Carolyn’s hobbies include the typical Colorado activities of hiking, biking, and telemark and backcountry skiing. She is also a potter, loves to travel, and is a voracious bookworm. Another interesting fact about her is that she lived in Ecuador for 4 years as a Peace Corps volunteer, a Peace Corps staff member, and a Fulbright Scholar.

If you’d like to join Millie and Carolyn as a TB ETN member and take advantage of all TB ETN has to offer, please send an e-mail requesting a registration form to tbetn@cdc.gov. You can also send a request by fax to 404-639-8960 or by mail to TB ETN, CEBSB, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, CDC, 1600 Clifton Rd., N.E., MS E10, Atlanta, Georgia 30333. Or, visit the TB Education and Training Network website for additional information.

—Submitted by Trang Nguyen, MPH, CHES
Div of TB Elimination

 

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