Preparing for AMIGAS Sessions
There is more than one way to present AMIGAS. The information on this page will help you make a plan.
There are two AMIGAS lesson plans. One plan is for talking with one woman. The other plan is for talking with a small group of 6 to 15 women. As you get ready to present AMIGAS, there are a few things to think about.
Will I speak with women individually or invite them to group sessions?
Individual sessions are better for discussing each woman’s own experiences and concerns. But many women also enjoy the company of their friends or family. If the women in your community enjoy doing group activities, you may want to plan a group session.
If the woman has a mother, friend, or daughter who wants to participate, is that okay?
Although AMIGAS is designed for use with one woman or a group of 6 to 15 women, you can change it a little for groups of other sizes. For example, you can easily use the individual lesson plan with a small group of 2 or 3 family members or friends if you make small changes in some of the activities.
How long should sessions be?
If you meet alone with a woman, you will want to schedule an hour, if possible. In a group, you should allow 1½ to 2 hours. This will allow time to understand why a woman has not been screened for cervical cancer recently (or ever), discuss her concerns, and make an action plan. If you cannot schedule this much time, the lesson plans tell you how you can make the best use of the time you have.
Preparing for All Sessions
- Attend a training session to learn about cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening and how to use AMIGAS.
- Read through the entire Community Health Worker’s Guide.
- Prepare your tool box.
- Review the lesson plans and tool box to make sure you are as comfortable as possible when it is time to speak with women in your community about cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening. Here are suggestions to make you more comfortable—
- Read through the presentation two or three times. Practice asking the questions and saying the statements and messages in the presentation out loud. These are the most important things you will say, so it is a good idea to practice them. Practice with your friends and family.
- Pay extra attention to areas that you think may be hard for some women to understand.
- Update the resource list for your community as necessary. Be sure it includes your correct contact information.
Preparing for an Individual Session
Scheduling the Session
- Talk with the woman to select a date and time that works for her.
- If the session will take place in person, choose a location that is comfortable and easy to get to. This can be her home or a public place. You both need to be able to sit down, focus, and be comfortable.
- Determine how long you will be able to talk with her.
- If you have an hour, you will be able to follow the complete lesson plan.
- If you have less time, you will need to do a shorter AMIGAS program. Make sure you cover the items on the lesson plan that are noted as the most important information.
One or Two Days in Advance
- Review the lesson plan.
- Practice saying the important points in the presentation.
- Confirm or reschedule the appointment.
- Get your tool box ready.
Preparing for a Group Session
About Two Weeks Before the Session
- If the session will take place in person, choose a place that will be comfortable for the group, such as a community center, public library, or conference room at a hotel.
- Schedule the session on a day and time that you think will work for most women in your community.
- If you are planning to use gifts, decide what you would like to use. Think about how many you will need and how you will get them.
- Develop a plan for inviting women. Your organization may have established procedures for inviting women to health education programs. You may identify women through friends, family, or other associations, or invite women you are working with on another program. You may post an announcement on your organization’s website or social media accounts.
- Make sure invitees understand—
- AMIGAS is for Latinas in this community who are between the ages of 21 and 65.
- The activity is about how women can stay healthy.
- Participants will learn and share things about cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening.
- Participants will talk about things that may help other women they care about.
- The session will last about 2 hours.
- It will be a chance to socialize and meet other women in the community.
- We think that the women will have a good time!
Please note: If your group session will be shorter than 2 hours, you will not have time to do all the planned activities in the session. Make sure you cover the items on the lesson plan that are noted as the most important information.