Technology helps bring Northland smear taker nurses together

The Manaia Health practice nurse clinical leaders group.
The Manaia Health practice nurse clinical leaders group.
Technology has made accessing cervical screening education much easier for many of Northland’s smear taker nurses.

In addition to the 47 nurses who gathered at Manaia Health Primary Health Organisation’s (PHO’s) office in Whangarei for an education session recently, seven nurses in Kaitaia and six in the Bay of Islands participated via video conference.

Northland’s cervical screening coordinator Jenny Barrett says it was the first time video conferencing had been used in the annual education session for nurses who work for Manaia Health and Te Tai Tokerau PHOs, which between them cover from Waipu, south of Whangarei, across to Dargaville and up to the far north.

Before the session the nurses were asked to send in any questions they would like answered or topics they’d like to discuss.

The nurses gathered in the early evening in each location for refreshments before the session got underway.

There were presentations from Northland District Health Board staff, including the colposcopy team, about changes to the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP)-Register and highlighting useful information about the NCSP on the National Screening Unit’s website.

Jenny Barrett and Manaia Health PHO’s associate director of nursing – primary health care, Mary Carthew, then led a session about reaching priority women. Participants broke into discussion groups to talk about barriers to screening and what approaches had worked well for them in targeting priority women. Each group then shared their suggestions with the other participants.

The whole session was recorded via the video conference facility so that it could be accessed via Manaia Health PHO’s website later by those who weren’t able to attend.

Jenny says the nurses’ evaluation of the session was very positive and the groups attending via video conference appreciated being able to access their professional development in this way.

Previously many of the nurses would have had to travel to Whangarei and stay overnight to attend the education session.

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Page last updated: 09 December 2014