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No. 4, 2010

TB EDUCATION AND TRAINING NETWORK UPDATES

TB ETN Tenth Annual Conference and TB PEN Second Annual Conference Conference Highlights

The TB Education and Training Network (TB ETN) held its tenth annual conference August 10–12, 2010, in Atlanta, Georgia, in conjunction with the second annual TB Program Evaluation Network (TB PEN) Conference. Participants numbered 172 and represented state and local TB programs, nonprofit organizations, and academia, from across the United States as well as from Guam, Brazil, Palau, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

This year’s theme, TB Education, Training, and Evaluation: Fitting the Pieces Together, inspired exciting presentations and activities throughout the 2 1/2-day meeting. Plenary topics included the importance of partnerships to TB elimination and empowering these partnerships with effective training and education tools.  Presenters from TB program areas spoke on a variety of topics, including a collaborative effort between the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the private medical community, using video conferencing to provide TB training, and evaluation of HIV testing of women with active TB.

In addition to the plenary sessions, there were a variety of engaging and useful breakout sessions held throughout the conference. Session topics included strategies for developing academic partnerships, engaging stakeholders in the evaluation process, creating opportunities to utilize TB patients as peer educators, and using data to guide evaluation.

A roundtable session was held for TB ETN and TB PEN members who were interested in course development, materials development, cultural competency, and a variety of evaluation topics. The roundtable sessions provided an opportunity for participants to network, discuss topic challenges, and share common experiences.

New to the TB Education and Training Network (TB ETN) conference this year was the presentation of two awards: the TB Educator of the Year Award and the Project Excellence Award. These awards were established to recognize excellence in TB health education and training by TB ETN members around the world.

The TB Educator of the Year award recognizes an individual who has shown dedication and leadership in the field of TB education and training. The recipient of the 2010 TB Educator of the Year Award was Elisabeth (Beth) Kingdon. Beth is the TB Education Coordinator/Planner for the Minnesota Department of Health’s TB Prevention and Control Program. Throughout her 6 years with the program, she has managed the development of numerous projects; including the redesign of the program’s website, the development of five patient education fact sheets available in 14 different languages, and the development of a TB DVD. She is an active member of TB ETN and has served two 2-year terms on the TB ETN Steering Committee and served one 2-year term as co-chair of the TB ETN Cultural Competency Workgroup. Beth has also served as Minnesota’s Training Focal Point since 2005.

The Project Excellence Award recognizes individuals who have developed an exceptional health education and training product or activity within the past 2 years. The recipients for the 2010 Project Excellence Award were Joan Mangan and Katie Rowan for their work on the Cultural Competency and Tuberculosis Control: Country Specific Guides. The Country Specific Guides provide epidemiological information for both TB and HIV; common misperceptions surrounding the etiology, disease transmission, and cures for TB and HIV; as well as material on the stigma surrounding these diseases. A portion of the guide also provides information regarding verbal and non-verbal communication, naming customs, cultural values, and Internet links to translated educational materials for clients. Originally conceptualized by Joan Mangan, the guides are a collaborative effort by the Southeastern National Tuberculosis (TB) Center (SNTC) and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Lung Health Center. Joan and Katie led the creation of each guide.  Donna Wegener, Kristina Ottenwess, and Karen Simpson at the SNTC also provided research, editing, and production support. Congratulations to this year’s award winners!

Learning and networking continued outside of formal plenary and breakout sessions. Participants viewed posters submitted by their colleagues and visited exhibits featuring TB education and training resources from DTBE, the Regional Training and Medical Consultation Centers, and state and local TB programs, among others. Tuesday evening’s special TB ETN Tenth Anniversary social event gave attendees a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Evaluation results have been reviewed and finalized. The data indicate that attendees overwhelmingly enjoyed the conference and learned a lot. Having the conference with TB PEN for the second year in a row provided new learning opportunities for everyone.

—Reported by Peri Hopkins, MPH
Div of TB Elimination

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Training Tips: Spicing Up Your Next TB Presentation

“Did you notice what’s on the agenda after lunch?”

“Some TB thing, I think”.

“Oh. Didn’t we just have a TB refresher last fall? Do you think anyone would notice if we didn’t go back?”

Does this sound familiar to you? I have been a tuberculosis educator for several years. When I began this career, most of the time and energy I put into preparing presentations was spent ensuring the content was accurate. As my knowledge of TB has increased, I am now able to focus more on making the material and my delivery more engaging.

Many educators will tell you that engaging the audience is one of their greatest challenges. As they say, you can lead the horses to water but you can not make them drink. So, how can we better engage our audiences?

In my experience, the most important prerequisite to engagement is that the audience perceive that they have a need to learn about the topic, beyond simply attending a presentation or completing a learning module. If the audience believes the topic is important, there is a much greater likelihood that they will be engaged by it and open to learning about it.

Whether you are preparing brand new material or adapting something you have used before, here are a few ideas to help you increase your audience’s level of engagement.

  • Know your audience. The key to making material relevant is to understand the needs of the audience. If you cannot do a formal needs assessment in advance of the session, try to talk to at least one person who will be attending to find out what he or she is interested in learning. You can also get a sense of your audience by asking them a few questions at the start of your presentation. This has the added benefit of “breaking the ice” and setting a relaxed tone.
  • Think outside of the PowerPoint.  Is there another method you can use to share the information? If not, is there another way to use this technology? How about using pictures instead of words on your slides?
  • Incorporate sound. Want to call participants back from the break or provide a cue for ending a group activity? Why not use music? For example, popular tunes or music with a TB connection such as songs from the operas La Bohème or La Traviata, or the film Moulin Rouge. Be sure to explain the connection if there is one!
  • Incorporate images. Many learners will appreciate the break from text-based slides or complicated content.  The images can be still (e.g., photographs) or video (e.g., YouTube clips). The Find TB Resources website (http://www.findtbresources.org) features a link to an image library. The images can be TB-related or not. At one TB course I travelled to several years ago, the facilitator of a particularly complicated session thought to incorporate pictures of places around the city that participants might like to visit. It really helped break up the material and kept everyone interested.
  • Incorporate storytelling. Storytelling as an educational medium is gaining in popularity. A simple anecdote can add a human element to the session—can personalize it—which helps to engage the audience. It can also make the content seem more relevant. The story can be from your own experience, historical, fictional, or from someone in audience.
  • Begin or end with a quote. My current favorite comes from Jean Piaget, who said, “The principle goal of education is to create people who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.” If you need help finding a quote, there are several good sources on the Internet. (One such source is www.brainyquote.com.)
  • Switch gears frequently. Don’t just stand there and talk at your audience! Varying your presentation methods as you proceed will help maintain their attention and interest level. And don’t rush. You should limit the amount of information to be presented to a few key points. That’s all your audience has the capacity to absorb in a brief session, anyway.
  • Incorporate play. Look for opportunities for participants to interact and do something creative. It can be as simple as providing different colors of highlighters for people to personalize handout materials to something as complex as drafting a pamphlet about TB.
  • Have a guest speaker. Guest speakers can be particularly welcome during longer presentations. Is there a local expert who might be available to discuss one or more of the topic areas? Is there a former patient who would be willing to come and share his/her experiences? How about a representative from a key stakeholder group in the community? If attending in person is problematic, look into the possibility of a video link or teleconference.
  • Learn from the learners. The collective knowledge of a group of participants is all too often overlooked. Drawing upon audience members’ experience and expertise further involves and engages them. Don’t let them be passive!
  • Enjoy yourself. Allow your passion and your commitment to educating about TB to shine through. Your enthusiasm will be contagious.

 

It goes without saying that TB educators think learning about TB is important.  However, there are people out there who do not share our same level of enthusiasm. How can you, as an educator, change this perception? The solution begins with you. The next time you are about to prepare a resource or give a presentation, take a few minutes and remind yourself about the importance of your work and your message. Get fired up! Challenge yourself to find ways to focus on the material and your delivery to reflect your enthusiasm. Good luck!

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TB ETN Program Highlight: Update to Tuberculosis Nursing: A Comprehensive Guide to Patient Care

In 1997, the nursing manual Tuberculosis Nursing: A Comprehensive Guide to Patient Care was published by the National TB Controllers Association (NTCA) and the National TB Nurse Coalition (NTNC). The goal of this comprehensive manual was to encourage the practice of the highest level of care possible for TB patients according to national standards.  The manual was to be used in conjunction with three documents, “Diagnostic Standards and Classification of Tuberculosis,” “Treatment of Tuberculosis and Tuberculosis Infection in Adults and Children,” and “Control of Tuberculosis,” which were developed jointly by the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and CDC.  The nursing manual has been used by public health nurses and other nurses throughout the country in providing care to TB patients.  Many TB nurses consider it an essential tool in their practice.

Since 1997, national standards of care and recommendations in TB control have changed and new testing modalities have been developed.  During the 2009 National Tuberculosis Conference, the National Tuberculosis Nurse Coalition met and made the decision to review, update, and produce a second edition of the manual. 

On August 31, 2009, the manual committee co-chairs, Jan Young and Gayle Schack, convened nursing experts from throughout the U.S. to begin the revision process with Jennifer Kanouse, the project coordinator and editor. The editorial board includes the co-chairs, Jan Young and Gayle Schack, as well as Brenda Ashkar (CA), Kim Field (WA), Carol Pozsik (NTCA), and Shea Rabley (SC).  The editorial board has provided oversight of the project, as well as review and revision of content.  Nurse consultants who conducted the manual review, provided edits, and served as writers for the project are Brenda Ashkar (CA), Carolyn Bargman (CO), Kim Field (WA), Kathy Kolaski (GA), Brenda Mayes (VA), Tammy McKenna (SC), Ellen Murray (FL), Larry Niler (UT), Carol Pozsik (NTCA), Gayle Schack (CA), Shea Rabley (SC), Lisa True (CA), and Jan Young (CA).  All committee members have shown a strong commitment to this ambitious project. In May 2010 the editorial board met in Long Beach, California, and reviewed the first draft of the “Tuberculosis Nursing: A Comprehensive Guide to Patient Care,” second edition.  During the summer of 2010, additional revisions were made and agreed-upon edits incorporated.

Final editing and editorial board review is now underway.  Upon completion, the manual will be submitted for any required agency clearances. After clearance, the “Tuberculosis Nursing: A Comprehensive Guide to Patient Care,” second edition, will be posted on the NTCA website.  The committee is now exploring possible funding sources to allow us to print copies in 2011.

Many thanks to the team of nurse consultants from across the nation for serving on the editorial board and manual committee, and for their commitment and dedication to this valuable project.

—Reported by Gayle M. Schack, PHN
Nurse Consultant
Francis J. Curry National Tuberculosis Center

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