Programme no. 352-P
Professional Development
Riitta Salunen*1, Kari Mattila2, Doris Holmberg-Marttila3
1Centre of General Practice,Pirkanmaa Hospital District,Tampere,Finland, 2University of Tampere,Tampere,Finland, 3Centre of General Practice,Pirkanmaa Hospital District,Tampere,Finland
* = Presenting author
Objectives: The study here sought to establish whether matters learnt during the chain messenger week had been discussed in their own health centres after the period and whether chain messengers had changed their work practices as a result of the training week.
Background: Chain messenger project is a continuous education and cooperation model developed and used by Pirkanmaa hospital district and community health centres in its catchment area in Finland. Health workers from community health centres, i.e. the chain messengers, spend a week working in specialist health care following a pre-planned programme.
Results: The majority of the chain messengers thought that learned matters or the cooperation questions which had risen were dealt with their own work community or in organization. From the doctors and dentists 70 % had that opinion, while 86 % of the other professionals answered so. The difference was significant statistically (p = 0,031). The handling of learned matters together was mainly occasional. The chain messengers changed their own work practices. Most of the changes concerned directing of the patient and the ways of caring. The matters that were changed after the chain messenger period were best explained by the profession of the chain messenger. More than the other professionals the doctors and dentists specified sending indications, improved the contents of referrals, brought into use an electric referral and changed medical treatment. Less than other they changed ways of action which applied to teamwork, use of time, appreciation of the own work and general attitude. The translation of learned matters was promoted by especially the chain messenger's own desire and activity for the developing and positive attitude. With most of them hurry, the resources shortage and lack of time and changing of the staff were mentioned as factors which had prevented the translation of learned matters.
Material/Methods: Survey questionnaires were sent to all those who had participated in the chain messenger period during the years 2006-2011 (n = 177). Among answerers there were 52 public health nurses, 49 nurses, 21 doctors, 14 physiotherapists, 10 dentists and 31 other professionals. The data were analysed using frequencies, cross-tabulations, logistic regression analysis and data-based groupings under themes.
Conclusion: The chain messenger model is a good way to learn new and to develop the care. In addition to developing the individual’s skills, the chain messenger model could be utilized more effectively than is currently done in the development of the workplace community and the entire organization. This poses a challenge in managing health centres.
Points for discussion: Chain messenger model, learning, change