John von Dadelszen works for the Benchmarque Group, a registered training organisation specialising in the development and deployment of nationally accredited skills programs for health professionals. John’s role as Partnerships Manager sees him work closely with organisations to design and deliver specialist programs to meet complex workforce development needs.
Background: The Benchmarque Group is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO No. 21824) specialising in the development and delivery of nationally accredited clinical skills programs. Earbus Foundation of Western Australia [Earbus] is a WA-based Children's charity that targets middle ear disease in Aboriginal and at-risk children in Western Australia.
Having been funded to deliver the Otitis Media Management Program in regional and remote Australia, the Benchmarque Group felt more could be done to embed participants’ learning beyond the classroom. When participants returned to work in their own communities, there were occasions where students had limited opportunities to immediately put the training into practice, build confidence and clinical competence in the area of ear health. Earbus delivers full-service ear health clinics in regional WA and has been successful in reducing the incidence and impact of otitis media in the communities in which they work. While working in these regions, Earbus had discovered that more work needed to be done to build local capacity to identify and manage the disease in Aboriginal children between Earbus visits.
In 2018 the Earbus Foundation of WA and the Benchmarque Group have launched an innovative pilot project aimed at combining traditional learning with practical experience in an attempt to tackle otitis media at a community level. The organisations have combined expertise and resources to create an enhanced learning curriculum for Aboriginal Health Workers working in regional and remote areas, with the initial pilot of the project occurring in the Pilbara in 2018.
Methodology: The Benchmarque Group and Earbus Foundation have created a model of collaboration which sees students attend the Benchmarque Group’s Otitis Media Management Program. Following completion participants then accompany Earbus in the field to consolidate the learning through practical experience at one of Earbus’ mobile ear health clinics with a cohort of Aboriginal children. Participants receive direct at-elbow supervision and support from an experienced paediatric Audiologist, as well as GP, Nurse and ENT Specialist input.
Conclusion/discussion: The educational and professional value of this unique immersion in ear health is significant and long lasting. In addition, the project has an inherent multiplier effect as participants use their enhanced skill set and experience to educate and support other regional colleagues. This presentation will discuss an evaluation of the pilot and plans for the future expansion of the project into other regions of WA.